Race Day, Recap, Run!

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.

BibRave, Run!, Training

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.

 

Race Day, Recap, Run!

2017 SLO Half Marathon Recap

Oh boy, I don’t know where to start with this.   I’ve sat on it for a bit so I don’t sound totally cranky, so here we go!

This was my 4th time running SLO and it used to be one of my favorites.    I adored it in 2014 and 2015.  2015 is still one of my proudest races even with a face plant at mile 5 and some major GI drama.   In 2016, there were some changes to the expo, shirts and pictures that I wasn’t so fond of but I still loved the course and the way the crowd support was at certain points.  Bring in 2017 and there was a course overhaul- big time.  I would say only 2-3 miles were the same but other than the finish line they were now all at different points in the course.  They advertised the course as being faster than years past.   Thing about SLO is that it is not flat- the new half course was just shy of 600 elevation gain and the full just over 1200.    But I liked the old course- freakishly long Johnson hills and all.  Fine, I’ll reserve judgement.  The other thing I was concerned about was the start time- it was starting at 7 AM.  Every other time I’ve run it, it started at 6:30 or 6:45.   The temps were predicted to hit the 80’s on race day and 70’s by 10.  I was concerned.


The expo–  Packet pickup as always was at the Madonna Inn.  It seemed smaller this year.  Then I’ve thought that of most the expo’s I’ve been to lately.  Bib and shirt pickup was simple.  There was a shirt I wanted to buy at one booth but the price was too steep.  What was not cool was the un-mown grass with tall roots sticking out.  I tripped in a gopher hole once and on the roots 3 times.   While I was there I saw 3 other people trip on the roots.   The blame for this likely lies on the Madonna Inn not the race but you’d think they would mow the expo lawn?   By the time I left I had multiple scratches and was bleeding in 3 spots.


Race morning-   Chaos.   The original course was a point to point, in years past my mom would drop me off at the start and drive to the finish, park and watch Netflix.  Easy.   This year parking was a nightmare.   Start and finish was the Madonna Inn but getting into the Inn was next to impossible.  After waiting on the freeway for 10 minutes and moving 10 feet, my mother and I switched places- jumped out and ran around the car so she was now driving and I finished getting ready in the passenger seat.  Then I jumped out of the car- still on the freeway– and found a place to hop the fence to the race.   Only to arrive and hear they were delaying the start 10 minutes.  Ok- port a potty time.  The damn port a potty almost blew over.  It wasn’t bolted down all the way.  Grrr!!!!  Ok, head to the corrals.  Or so I thought.   Marathon runners and half marathon runners were starting at the same time.


  We all lined up near the pacers and waited.   And waited.  Then announcements started and we were told we were going to walk to the starting line. Umm, what? Weren’t we there?  So en masse, we leave the Inn and round the corner and down the street to starting arch.  It was like a block but it was odd, from behind me I heard on guy yell out “the race hasn’t even started and I’m over 2500 steps, this is whack”.   Everyone within hearing distance laughed.   Then more announcements and the National Anthem.  I will never be irritated at the National Anthem and I get that traffic was backed up ridiculously, but all I could think was that it was getting warmer and warmer while we were waiting.  We finally started just before 7:30.

This race falls into 2 distinct sections- the good and the “oh hell”- so here we go.

Miles 1-3 10:04, 10:11, 10:29

Well, hey these miles are coming faster than I thought they would be.  My calves were a little tight but that’s typical in the beginning of runs, I figured they would loosen up.  The first mile and half were through the southern part of town and not the most scenic.   I just kept trucking.  It was warm and getting warmer though so I decided to get water at the first aid except it wasn’t at mile 2 like I thought it would be.    It was 1/2 a mile later, ok, walk through the station get water and run on.  Right hand turn and we were running up Foothill.


Miles 4-6 10:55, 11:23, 10:19

Running between 2 mountains, though smallish, this was my favorite section to run.   I slowed a little going uphill but I was fine with that.  I was trying to ignore how warm it was and just keep moving.  The 2:15 pacers passed me- had no idea they were behind me- but I paid very little attention and turned on my music. I walked if I needed a moment and just kept moving.  Another aid station and more water.  I was hydrating with my Beachbody Hydrate in between stations.    We also ran a street I’d never seen before in SLO- well parts of it.  It was pretty.

Mile 7-8 10:20, 11:20 

My legs were feeling good and my breathing was under control.  We had a little downhill before we started what would be the longest climb of the course- not steep just long.  We ran over a timing mat at 7.8 miles and my average pace was 10:37.  I was on track for possibly my strongest half in over a year.  Who knew? We were running through downtown and I always think that’s kind of fun.

Then it went to hell.

Miles 9-10 12:31, 12:57

Something was not right, I was not ok.  It was warm, too warm and I wasn’t handling it well.  My legs started to cramp, my stomach started to cramp, my hands were swelling and I felt like I was going to throw up. I started walking more and more.  I was pissed and just trying to keep the pace. We rounded a corner and I saw a steep, short hill and I let some colorful words fly. 


Then the aid station at mile 9 was out of cups.   Finally in mile 10, I told myself to get my head out of my ass, this wasn’t a PR race, I was using it as training rain; there was no point in killing myself for a finishing time.  I came to a complete stop and tried to stretch out some of the cramping.    Thankfully there was another aid station at mile 10, water!  There were also kids with spray bottles and Iphone be damned, I had them spray water my way.

Miles 11-13 10:43, 11:35, 11:49

A downhill and the water helped me have a slightly faster mile 11 but the there was no going back.  I cramped the rest of the way and felt nauseated the entire time.    I was also letting my anger get to me- why did we start so late?!  Grrr, just keep moving forward.  The men’s marathon winner cruised past me around mile 11.5.    I kept getting water at every station and sprayed down by any kids with bottles.   I was thankful that the aid stations figured out it freakin’ hot and all the later ones had spray bottles and squirt guns.

Under the freeway, up a little a bump and then it was down the path to the finish line.  I got hung up behind a guy and I kind of growled.  I thought I did it quietly- I did not.  I scared him.  I’m sorry!   Somehow in my irritation and readiness to be done, I ran that last .20 ( my watch read 13.2 miles) at a 7:40 pace.   I don’t remember doing that but I was so beyond ready to be done.

Finish- 2:26:09


I was so done.  There was water at the finish line but just little cups.   I didn’t feel dehydrated just hot.  I had water at every station and my entire 25 oz’s of Beachbody while running.     I know I am not acclimated to the heat yet but I just don’t get the later start this year.  Combine that with delayed start and it was recipe for a hot mess.  From what I’ve seen on social media I was not alone in my blow up that day.  The heat and hills got to a lot of people.  I liked the hills!  Well except for the one just after mile 9, that felt like a dirty trick.   I was just grrr about the whole thing.   Still am a bit.  Ok time to move on.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right?

It wasn’t all bad- I chatted with nice guy prior to the start. I chatted with a nice older man around mile 6- his friends told him the race was flat.  😬. A nice guy helped me around mile 8 when I was struggling to get my water bottle back into my pack.  All the volunteers were amazing and I love the enthusiasm of the Grizzlies.  The running community is awesome.  

Half marathon #24 done.

Do you run well in heat?

How do you deal when races go south?

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.  😛


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.   😛  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. 😂😂 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 now😂

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.😛    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.  🙂

 

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?  😛  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.     🙂😀   I can do this.