Tag: SLO Marathon

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.


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.

2016 SLO Half Marathon Recap

Sometimes it’s just not your day.  And that’s not always a bad thing.

Race day came early but I felt like I had slept ok.  Much better than last year at least, my Up band tells me I got around 5 hours of sleep.   Could have been worse.  I had no idea what I was going to wear until I put it on.  It was not one of the outfits I had tried on the day before.    😝

My mom was my driver once again (thanks mom!) so we headed out around 5:45.   She was able to drop me off at the same place as previous years, so I only had a short walk to the start line.   I ran into Heather along the way.   Perfect timing!  We headed straight to the porta potties.  Lines for days!  Seriously, for the second year in a row I started way behind all the pacers.  The race started right on time at 6:45.  I had no clue what I was going to run- I would have thrown a party for a sub 2:10 but also been happy with a 2:10-2:15.  While April was a very strong training month, I was tired.  Perhaps more than I thought.

Miles 1-3: 10:08, 10:07, 10:49

Not too bad.  Miles 1 and 2 were about what I was expecting  Mile 1 is downhill and 2 is uphill so keeping at that pace was where I wanted to be.  Heather and I were running together and it was cool getting to race together.  Mile 3 is where one of the longest climbs starts.   Last year I motored up it with no problems.  This year, it was kicking my ass.  It should not have felt that hard.

Miles 4-6: 11:06, 9:47, 10:48

And my first walking break.  I was already tired, I couldn’t seem to get into gear.  Strange thing- my toes went numb on both feet around mile 4.  Umm, what?   It leveled off a bit and we picked up the pace.  I don’t remember that mile feeling any different but it clocked in at the fastest.   We made it past where I fell last year and kept running.   Mile 6 was where we started uphill again.  This is not a course for the faint of heart.

Miles 7-9:  11:44, 10:47, 10:29

Hello, walking again.  This time longer.   I am so thankful for Heather sticking with me, I was realizing that this was not going to be my best showing.   We passed through the Cliff shot zone and I grabbed a citrus shot in hopes that it would help.  The turn around comes a little past the 7 mile mark, then we get some downhill to enjoy.    There was more walking in those miles as well.  Heather knows everyone, so we made some friends along the course.  😊

Miles 10-12: 11:19, 10:45, 11:19

With only 4 miles to go and it being mostly flat to downhill, I was optimistic that I could pick up the pace.  I say I because I was the one slowing us down.  I was dragging, couldn’t find another gear to get into and had to use my inhaler a few times.  It had turned out to be a very warm morning and was a little more humid than I would have liked but those things shouldn’t have effected me that much.   Mile 12 has a bridge that we have to switchback up then down and it kicks my butt every year.  This mile also had the last aid station.  It was manned by volunteers from one my work locations- and my boss’s boss- so I tried to at least smile at them when we past.  It may have looked more like a grimace.  😝

Mile 13:  10:43 -13.1 (8:31 pace to finish)-

Seriously, I was in a dark tunnel of misery here.  Not really sure why.  My calves were achy but nothing major, I was just beat and really needed to see that finish line.   Once again, Heather was awesome- I probably would have walked so much more without her keeping me going.  There is a tiny climb right at mile 13 that feels like a mountain and then it is all downhill to the finish.  That road seemed so long!!!   I spotted my mother along the side and tried to smile but again I think it was more of a grimace.  I dodged some people and crossed the finish line.

Finish- 2:21:55

We got our medals and headed for the water.  The expo area was kind of a hot mess when it came to recovery.   Water was the only thing that was easy to locate.   It took some effort to find the food and then more to find my mom.  Once I did, we took some pics before heading out.  I may have stuck around a little longer but that gel hadn’t settled well with my stomach so I was ready to get going.

Not the race I was hoping for but you can’t always get what you want.  However, the day was still good.  I got to run a course I love- hills and all- and it has pretty great spectators.   I got to run with a great friend and there is nothing bad about that.  πŸ™‚



Training Week 18 Recap/ April Wrap up

Upcoming Race– SLO Marathon 13.1

Focus– Keep calm and don’t freak out about the weird leg pain πŸ˜πŸ˜“

By Monday morning, my left leg was feeling better so I was hopeful that was the end of my weird leg pain.  I was optimistic about returning to running as usual.  However if you read my Prepping for SLO post, you know I was suffering what must have been the taper crazies.  Except as I write this, I realize that I didn’t taper.  My mileage stayed the same.  Oops.

Monday- 4 miles  I headed out after work for what I hoped would a nice, easy run testing my new shoes for the first time, Skechers GoRun Ride.   I kept it pretty easy and my legs felt ok.   My shins were a little achy but overall it was a good run.  The shoes felt pretty good but I wasn’t going to push it.  4 mile test run and then I put the shoes away for the rest of the week.

Tuesday- 5 miles  More easy paced miles.  I had only planned on running 3-4 miles but I felt pretty good so I kept going.    I ran a slightly different route than usual and it ended with a pretty sweet downhill.  I’ve noticed that it takes me a good 2-3 miles to warm up now so most of my runs feel better at the end.    I actually negative split this run.    I also got to run past the creepiest ice cream truck ever.  First of all, I didn’t even know they still existed. Also you could see where they had painted over the old logo on the truck.  Apparently, in its former life it was an electrician’s truck.  Ummm, no thank you.

Wednesday- Rest  Pizza night and it was pretty yummy.

Thursday- 3 miles   My leg felt fine all week and that lasted until around 4 PM Thursday.   I was standing at my boss’s desk talking to her and I felt the same muscle/ tendon/whatever shift again.   Seriously?!   Cue a dull ache and some limping.  Grrr.

I caved and headed to the lake.  With my leg being off, I figured flat and easy access to my car would be a good thing.  I ran headphone free and with my pepper spray and paid extra attention.   Which was also a good thing as there were some new additions to the path-

Friday- Rest  Stupid leg.   I wore heals today as my legs usually feel better in them than flats.   I also sat a lot.

Saturday- SLO Expo day!! I wasn’t running but I knew the expo would be a bit of walking, so I made sure to wear actual running shoes instead of flip flops.  My leg/hip felt a little better but again I was planning on moving as little as possible.   The expo was laid out different than previous years and seemed smaller.   But let’s talk about the really important part.  SLO Ambassador meetup!!

πŸ“Έ: Ashley

It was great getting to catch up with everyone I met last year as well as meeting the new ambassadors.  Our jackets are super nice if a little big.    😏  I’ve been feeling super fluffy lately and not liking pictures of myself but I had to share this one.  Check out that photobomb!

Sunday -SLO Marathon 13.1   I didn’t fall!!!  Other than that, the details will be in the recap on Wednesday.  πŸ™‚

Overall, it was a varied week.  Running was ok but my weird leg thing kept lingering.   Thursday ached the most and Friday was uncomfortable.    Apparently I forgot how to do math since 25 miles is on the higher end for me.  Oops.  Speaking of mileage, let’s talk about April

Hot damn,  I think that’s my second highest mileage month ever.  Maybe third.  Wait, no, I just checked- this April was my highest mileage month ever.    I really thought I had had a higher one.   Guess there all no limits to the denial I was living in.   Higher mileage aside, April was a stressful, emotional month.  All of that meant poor sleep; combine that with all the running and I am so tired.    I relied on a little too much coffee and soda to keep me going.    Going into May, my mileage should keep increasing but I am hoping for some better sleep and less reliance on caffeine, fingers crossed.

Bring it May.

How was your week?

Anyone race this weekend?



Prepping for SLO

I’ve never been one to believe in the “taper crazies”.  Hell, I love taper.  An excuse to run less and eat more?  Sign me up! 😝  Yes, I know that’s not how it works but let a Slacker lie to herself ok?

I wasn’t really planning on tapering for SLO.   I did one speed workout this training cycle.  One.  Once I realized how few long runs I had actually done over the years, my focus turned to getting in the distance and time on my feet.   While I have done much better since that little epiphany, it still could have been better.

My plan for SLO was to treat it more like an epic long run.  Enjoy the race, enjoy my pace, take in the view, smile at the awesome crowds and maybe, just maybe take a decent race picture for once.     And now?

I had my weird hip/ IT thing on Friday’s long run.  That led to limping on Saturday and resting all weekend.   This week’s runs have been so-so.  Tuesday’s was actually pretty good.  But outside of that- my shins ache at random moments.  My calves feel tight.  Today it hurt my big toe to drive, seriously?!   There’s a tickle in my throat that feels like it wants to turn into something more.   Bring on the Airborne!!  I haven’t slept well in about a month.

Grrr.  I love this race, I do not want to stress about it.  As of right now, I honestly have no idea what my finishing time might be.  I feel unprepared for the hills.  My fault, I should have sought out more hills.    The hill I use for hill repeats has been a construction zone for the last few months.  No excuses. I should have found another one.   After last year I feel like I have unfinished business with this race.

Maybe that is influencing how I am feeling this week?  I have no idea.   So now, I need to calm down.  I need to make sure I am sleeping better (or trying to), I need to ensure I m still keeping my carb count low to moderate and I need to not stress.  I have been looking forward to this weekend for months.   There are so many people that I am looking forward to seeing again.   I enjoy looking around the expo, and really this is my favorite finish line.

More cowbell!!

Actually, I think venting about it for a few hundred words helped.   Bring it on SLO, let’s do this.  Now if only I could figure out what I am wearing.  😝

Do you believe in taper crazies?

Any tips?


Week 17 Training Recap

Upcoming race– SLO Marathon 13.1

Focus–  Keep working on the 4x a week and enjoy a step back long run.

Mission partly achieved.   As for the other part- uh oh?   For someone who has a propensity for colorful phrases, whether cursing or not, my training week ended with a very quiet, meek “uh oh”.

Monday- 3 miles  3rd day in a row and I was feeling a little tired.  However, that was part of the plan so I kept moving.    Mile one was super sluggish but I loosened up for mile 2 and 3.    I finished strong and headed home.  I did miss running with NikeC though.

Tuesday- 4 miles  4th day in a row?!  Who am I?  There is a method to my madness here, really.    By the end of the work day I was not feeling like running at all.   So I ran in work town; I knew that if I had to drive anywhere else, I would lose motivation and bail.   My legs are not used to 4 days in a row yet so they were feeling pretty tired.   I kept the pace easy and just tried to enjoy the view.  By the time I got to the eucalyptus trees and shoreline I was glad I had stuck to my plan.   Mile 4 felt the best to me which was funny as it is all uphill.  I was just shy of 4 miles when I hit my car so I figured another loop of the block would get it done.    Except I cut through the alley behind the police station.  Should be safe right?  And it was if you don’t count the crazy Husky that charged me.  Seriously, what is my luck these days?!  Someone called the dog off but he had the crazy dog look like he could snap at any time.

Wednesday- Rest  Except my mother had a random Wednesday tennis match so without pizza night or running, I felt a little adrift.  😝     Ha!  I ended up cleaning half of my car.   It still needs to be vacuumed though.

Thursday- Rest   I planned to run, I even changed into running clothes after work.   My mother wanted to reschedule pizza night but I said I wanted to run first.  Once again, she dropped the dad kryptonite.   So I enjoyed pizza in un-sweaty running gear.

Friday- 10 miles  I worked on Saturday and had plans to spend a day shopping in SLO, both of those things were stressing me out about my long run.    I was able to leave early on Friday though for a partial day.  As I was changing into my running clothes it started pouring in work town.  Boo.  I headed towards home hoping it would clear up on the drive.  When I parked it looked stormy and threatening but was not even raining.  A little rain is one thing, the pouring diagonal mess I drove in- not so much.

My first mile was super slow- more walking than running- I was mentally debating if I was going to run or bail.   I didn’t have a mile goal in mind at all anymore, I was just out running.  At every point where I could make the run shorter or longer, I would assess the situation.  How did my legs feel and what did the skies look like?    It was cold and windy but the storm clouds were holding.    My upper left thigh felt a little off, kind of like there was a band around it.   Nothing hurt, so I kept running.   I was keeping a pretty steady pace and while it was faster than it should maybe have been, it felt good.

I was coming down a hill about a mile from my car when I felt it.  Something in my left leg moved.  I felt it shift on the outside of my upper thigh.   I calmly said “uh oh” out loud and continued to run.  Smart, right?   It didn’t hurt but it felt very off if that makes sense.    Good news was that the band feeling had gone away.    I finished out 10 miles and stretched really well.  At least I hoped so.  I also attempted some butt kicks and high knees.   Things felt weird.  Oh crap.

Saturday- Rest  I still wasn’t in pain but things weren’t normal.  By midday, I was limping.   But it still didn’t hurt?  How does that even make sense?    I chose to skip my planned easy run.  Boo.  If I didn’t have a race (SLO!!) next week, I may have pushed it.

Sunday- Rest  For the most part, I felt better.  Every now and again, I would feel an odd twinge but overall it felt ok.    I spent the day schlepping around SLO and by the end I was exhausted.  I haven’t slept well in almost a month so even though there was plenty of daylight when I got home, I passed on a run.   I did however spend a very long time at The Running Warehouse, trying on all the shoes.   At least it felt like that.    The Launch’s and I broke up for good after that last cramp-tastic run.  I hate returning shoes but I also can’t keep giving them to my mom.  My budget is not that big!

So yeah, not the week I was hoping for but it could have been worse.   I wasn’t planning on tapering for SLO but that will depend on my leg feels on my first run this week.    It’s being weird so who knows?   Fingers crossed?

Funny story, Friday I was sitting at my boss’s desk talking to her.    I heard something behind me so I looked- crazy husky!!!!!  He was in the building!   Turns out he was looking for a treat.  Small towns, right?

How was your week?

Ever have an odd, weird twinge?   I’m thinking it’s my IT band.