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. 🤨

SLO Ultra 5K Recap

A part of me almost upgraded to the half during the week leading up to this race. Now, I’m so glad I didn’t.

Race morning came and my stomach was being a total asshat. Not too unusual so I just got ready like normal and hit the road. While I drove, I had some ginger mints hoping to calm my stomach.  I thought it helped.

The race was held in a combo of El Chorro Regional Park and Dairy Creek Golf Course, parking was across the highway at the community college.   It was stressed heavily that we either had to pay for parking during registration or have cash on hand on race morning.  I paid during registration.   Yet on race morning there no sign of anyone to take cash, so half the runners didn’t pay.  Grrr.  I ended up talking about it with with a couple.   I spoke with a volunteer as I left the lot, chatted with another as we waited to cross the highway.  Actually, this was the most I’ve ever talked at a race and some of the friendliest people throughout.

The start was about a mile away and I arrived in time to see the delayed start of the half marathon.   Turns out the inflatable arch had a little issue.  The 50K had started at 6:30.  I got in line to use the port-a-potties which is when I had my sad sunglasses incident.  Boo. After some announcements and the National Anthem, we were off and running.

Mile 1-11:07

Oh, god, I’m nauseous, why am nauseous? Where did that come from? And I’m breathing like I’m sprinting but I’m not. What is going on?? The first mile wound up a back road away from the park towards a ranch. It was paved but in poor condition and you were dodging cow dung along the way. It was a tiny incline but all of this would have been fine had I not been feeling like I needed to find a bush to throw up in. I slowed to a walk about 3/4 a mile in and tried to walk it out. I wasn’t upchucking in public!

Mile 2-10:48

More walking. Still nauseated. The road had switched to dirt and the incline picked up a bit. Part way up the road was blocked by a gate- it wasn’t open. We had to climb over it. Single file. Surprise! I think the complete stop I came to while I waited for my turn helped a bit because I picked up the pace on the other side and ran a bit. Then walked a bit, then ran. We had a little downhill and I was able to pass a few of the people who had passed me previously. Truthfully at this point, I didn’t care.

Mile 3-10:46

I’m still not feeling right but I just want to be done. I take water at the one aid station and hustle on. The next 1/4 mile was the “trail-iest” section of the whole race. We climbed a small hill and could see the finish line a ways off- across the golf course. My watch was already at 3 miles. Grrr. I ran past a few people (even sick, I’ll take advantage of any tiny downhill) then it was sidewalk and golf course running to the finish line.

A little boy and I had been playing leap frog for 2 miles- he’d pass me every time I’d walk. We were both powering to the finish and it’s sad that instinct is telling you to win. 😂 I pulled up and let him cross first.

Finish-36.23   Garmin Pace-10:49*3.4 miles    Official pace- 11:44

For once in the numerous times I’ve run races by this organization, water and snacks were easy to find at the finish.  Yay!   I grabbed a bag of salty chips thinking they might help with nausea.  I chatted with some other runners and we helped each other take finisher pics.  Then I started the trek back to the car.

*I am normally never one to say the course ran long; I know I suck at tangents.  However, I really couldn’t go wrong during the first 2 miles and mile 3 was more of a follow the leader with no course markings.  Plus, thanks to Strava I know that I am not the only one who measured it long.  All the public users did- so I am going to call the course long.   Doesn’t change the official pace though, it is what it is.

This wasn’t a bad race.  I really wouldn’t call it a “trail” race, I know the other distances were.  It wasn’t the great views of last year and I missed those. The organization was better than previous races and the medal is a good one.   Bling makes everything better right?😀

2018 Rock n Roll San Diego 13.1

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Rock n Roll San Diego 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!

Last year I loved this race and I jumped at the chance to go back.   The course is great, the crowd support was awesome- sign me up!  However, I also knew that I was would be one month out of Big Sur, so realistically I had no idea how that would affect me.  So I was going in with the only goals of having fun, enjoying the race and crossing that finish line.

I joked in my previous post that with 8 aid stations this would be the race to try running without carrying water however I knew I was too paranoid to actually do that.  Except I forgot my flasks.  I didn’t figure it out until after the expo so it was too late to buy anything.  I thought about carry a plastic bottle but that just didn’t sound appealing to me.   Guess I was relying on aid stations after all.

Race morning dawned all too early after a poor night of sleep.  I was ready fairly quickly which was surprising as I was having major indecision about what to wear on my bottom half, I settled on my Skirt Sports skirt, made a quick compression sock change and was out the door to meet Kate.  I love my hotel because the race morning shuttles pick up 1/2 block down and the finish line is 3 blocks away.  Met up with Kate, we boarded a bus and in less than 10 minutes we were at the starting area.  We wandered for a bit before getting in a porta potty line.  We missed the National Anthem- too noisy- and separated to our corrals after that.   I appreciated the new larger corral markers- it made it easier to find mine (17 of 33) but we were still packed in like sardines.  I also started to question what the hell I had put down as a finishing time.  The 2:15 pace group was in the corral behind me.  Say what?!  But we steadily made our way up and then we were off!

Miles 1-3 10:17, 10:44, 11:43

I love that there is a man shouting encouragement though a bull horn as we run past .25 mile in.    It can pretty crowded in the first few miles but my goal was to just keep my effort steady.  I had told my mother that I wasn’t really concerned about my finishing time but in the back of my head, I figured 2:25 ish wouldn’t be too off the mark.   However during mile 3 things started to get rough and I realized there was one thing I forgot to take into account- humidity.

Miles 4-7 11:21, 11:03, 11:36, 12:01

I was still running just a lot slower.  It was so damn humid.  It was mile 4 and the people running near me looking like their shirts could be wrung out.  The men running shirtless looked like they just got out of the shower.   I happened to pull out my phone to text my mother that is humid- actually I used much more colorful language- and she reminded me to use my inhaler as humidity is one of my asthma triggers.  But when I pulled my phone I saw that it showed 80% humidity.  What the what? I am used to like 15%.  The sun was pounding down on us and I could tell we were all struggling.  I texted Kate and told her to be careful.   I did all this while running, haha.  I was still enjoying the race, I love running through North Park and Normal Heights.   Mile 5 also brings us the Wear Blue- Run to Remember section and I like to try and pay more attention in that area.

My strategy was to run everything but walk the entire aid station- getting water and Gatorade at each one as it was offered.  Clearly this was not the race to not carry my own water.

Miles 8-10 11:57, 11:49, 12:41

Oh my gawd, I was hot.  Temp wise, it wasn’t even hot but the humidity was kicking my butt.  I was now taking more time at the aid stations.  One cup of Gatorade and one cup water.  If the station only offered water, I would get one cup of water at the very beginning, drink it while walking the station slowly, then get another to drink at the end.  I took off my hat and dumped water in it before putting it back on. The stations were also struggling to keep up with demand from the runners- in fact I would be surprised if the one at mile 9 lasted the entire race.

I took my first non- aid station walk break around mile 9.5.  I just had to.  I was starting to feel nauseous.   Kind of like I had consumed too much water.  Which I coudn’t see how as I wasn’t carrying any and they don’t fill those cups up too full.  But I skipped an aid station just before mile 10.

Miles 10-13 111:56, 11:30, 12:22

From then on it was a run- walk to the end.  Which is a bummer because I really like the last 3 miles.  We come back into Balboa Park, run under the big guitar guy, up a hill past some Taiko drummers, by a golf course, then there’s a sweet downhill that brings you back into the city.     I may have been feeling rough but I was still trying to enjoy as much of my surroundings as I could.   Then it was through downtown with a slight down hill to the finish-

Finish- 2:33:38

I honestly hadn’t been looking at my watch at all so I had no idea where I was at time wise until after crossing the finish line.  That time is fine by me.  So fine, I’ve already gone and input my results into Athlinks.  😊

I stood around for a couple moments needing a moment if that makes sense before getting my medal and heading out of the chute.  One of the volunteers became my new favorite person as she was handing out bags of ice.   I stuck it on my head as I walked to the meeting point to find my mom.   I still felt way too hot so I jammed back to the hotel for a cold shower before flying back to the finish line to see Kate.    Success.

The weather may not have been my friend but I still love this race and it was only made better with friends out there too. And Kate got a PR!!!!!

What’s your weather nemesis?

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.

2017- The Shiny and The Dull

It’s that time again- time to recap the Shiny and the Dull of 2017.

Let’s get the Dull out of the way first.

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So yeah, remember that post 12 months ago where I said I hated goals, that I considered them 4 letter words so I wasn’t making any? No? Well, here it is if you’re feeling really bored.   I was going to make 2017 the year of Challenge.  Ha!  More like the year of complacency.

Instead of running all the miles in 2017, I didn’t even clear 650.

Did I find my old pace? Yeah, no.

I was turned down for 2 jobs I applied for.

Should we even mention the weight I put on? I’m less irritated about the number and more irritated about how uncomfortable I feel in my skin.

Had migraine issues, thyroid issues, leg issues, back issues, bed issues.  Maybe I’m the issue?

Ok, enough with the dull.

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Shiny!!!!!!

I ran 10 races, 8 13.1’s, one 5 miler and one 5K.   If I had to pick a top 3, they would be –

  1.  Las Vegas!  I went to Vegas!  I ran a half and a 5K in one weekend.  I finally met Kate in real life! We ran her first half together.  I met Helly! I hung with Mai and other BibRave Pros!   There were lights and miles and good times and it was awesome.  Tiring but awesome.  And I am a bad blogger because I don’t have the pictures.img_5362
  2. Rock N Roll San Diego 13.1– My first Rock n Roll race and it was great one.  I loved the course and the whole experience.  I met Mai and Emily and made the We Run Social photo on race morning.  And I met Chelsea! It was also my fastest race in a few years. Until…
  3. City to Sea– Home town love.  Yeah, I consider the entire county my home town.  5th time running this race and I still love it.  Somehow pulled off my fastest race of the year too.  Still don’t know where that came from.img_4806

Honorable mentions- Salinas Valley Half Marathon, SLO Ultra 5 Miler

I had the opportunity to work with BibRave again in 2017 and it is a great group of people.  Plus I tested some pretty awesome products.   I’d have even fewer miles if BibRave hadn’t pointed me in the direction of my Ultra Boost X’s.  My running store doesn’t sell them so I wouldn’t have found them on my own.  I’m on pair 2 now.

I was also given the chance to be an ambassador for Miles and Pace.  If you’ve been around this blog for the last few years, you may have noticed that I am pretty attached to my Miles and Pace trucker hats so I was stoked.  My current hat count is 4.

As for work, I have a Rock star crew, so can’t complain about that.

So 2017 did not go like I hoped but then again I maybe got a little too comfy in the comfy chair and rationalized my way into being a little too Slacker like.   I mentioned on Twitter the other night that I have a tendency to get in my own way.

As for 2018? Time to Sound the Alarm.