gear, Race Day, Recap, Run!

Heart & Soles 2014 Race Recap

I was originally planning on running the Buzz 1/2 marathon today but scaled back to a 10K in SLO for a few reasons.  Now, I am completely bummed because I just saw that Run Eat Repeat ran it and I could have tried to track her down, except I am slow, hehe.

Anyways, on to the race.  After my great run on Wednesday, I was super pumped but I also knew I had pushed harder than planned, so I ended up taking Thursday and Friday as rest days.   Friday was also a vacation day for me, so woo hoo!     I made sure to spend some time stretching and working with my foam roller yesterday so this morning I felt pretty good and ready to go.

A little chalk art
A little chalk art

Heart and Soles is a series of races put on by the Cal Poly Triathlon team.  It works as a fundraiser for them and the local food bank.   The race takes place entirely on the college campus.  They offer a 5K, 10K, and 15K and a kids race.   I was a little concerned about hills as the campus is pretty much on the side of a big hill, but there weren’t any big ones thankfully.   I really wanted to do the 15K but thought the 10K was a smarter choice.   😦  This turned out to be a good choice, because I would not have finished a 15K, at least not running.  Maybe crawling.

Pre-race shot
Pre-race shot

The race had 9:00 AM start so I didn’t have to leave until after 7:30.  My race photographer (thanks mom!) and I headed out. Getting there was easy, finding parking was a little trickier, luckily runners tend to move in herds!   Check in was fairly quick, picked up the bib and goody bag and headed back to the car since it was a bit cold.   While not required, a Valentine’s themed costume contest was suggested.   My mother had fun laughing at some of them, including the pace bikers.  The 2 males were dressed in diapers and wings…and that’s it.  Just like Cupid.   One thing about a college race, I felt old.   I won’t deny stalking last years race results to make sure I wasn’t the oldest one.  As it was I was running solo in a couples race.    Luckily it was mostly other solos as well.  🙂

All 3 races started at the same time so the start line was a little congested.  A guy stopped to play with his girlfriends iPod, I went left to avoid them, and 2 people behind me ran into me and I into the first couple.  Oops!   Maybe that was when the problem started or I just hadn’t noticed because I just started running.   A quarter mile into the race, my left lower calf was so damn tight it was painful.  I figured I would run it out around mile 1.  No such luck.   I actually considered turning around at the 5K mark.    But I kept going.  I was so happy to hit the first 10K turnaround.   The course had two out and backs.    I kept running but the pain was turning into my couples partner for the race.  I told myself if the pain ever got above a 4 to take a walk break.   The first came at just shy of 3 miles.    Mile 4 was the roughest, not only did I take a walk break, I stopped completely and tried to stretch it out.    The end of this out and back had a little loop on a dirt path and my leg felt better there.  After that if I could run on dirt by the side of the road I did.   While we were in the Ag section this was possible but once we were back in the center of the school, it was all roads and sidewalk.  😦

I felt like mile 6 had the steepest section of road but my Garmin disagrees.    It was a little past mile 5.5 that my leg finally loosened up.  Seriously? Now?   But there was no way I was sprinting to the finish, I was just trying to maintain.   I hadn’t really been paying attention to my time because I was more focused on breathing through the pain.  All in all, I took 4  walk moments plus that stretch.  I was so thankful to see that finish line.     I was done.  Apparently it showed too, because my mom said I looked gimpy coming up to the line.

Is that a grimace or a smile?
Is that a grimace or a smile?

Once I caught my breath, I let my mother know how close I was to texting her that I was chucking it and walking the damn thing.   Then I checked my Garmin, 55:44.  I’m sorry, what?!!?   I flippin’ PR’d on what may or may not have been my worst feeling race?!  I checked Nike to verify (Yeah I used both), and it agreed.   I was a little shocked.   Once I processed that, I was super stoked, still hurting but excited!!  I was brought a little back down to earth by the first 15K finisher crossing the finish line 4 minutes later.

heartandsoles

Other than my stupid leg, it was a good race.  With all three races starting at the same time, I was concerned that it might be easy to be confused by the route.  But they had people at every corner and turn around who made things very clear.   The finish line was clearly marked as well.  All in all, I would run it again, maybe the 15 next year?

I stretched as best as I could before leaving the campus.   After changing and eating a yummy lunch, we did a little shopping around town.   I kept my compression socks on and hoped that the walking would help ease the tightness.  It helped a little but most of the evening has been spent RICE’ing.  Tomorrow will probably be a day off as well, I have to see how it feels in the morning.  I am not sure what set it off, if it was tennis practice yesterday or maybe the fact that I sat cross-legged on the floor for most of last night.   I just want it to go away.

IMG_3173

And as per usual, I was unable to leave SLO without purchasing some new running gear, now if only my legs weren’t so pale!

How is everyone’s weekend so far?

Who else raced?

Ambassador, Run!

~A change in plans~

~A change in plans~

Today is my Friday and that makes me smile 🙂  I have the next 4 days off, woo hoo!  The original plan was to run a half marathon on a local army base on Saturday.  Packet pick up would have been tomorrow, so I took the day off.   They were also giving tours of the course.   However, with my ankle a little sore and getting the chance to be an Ambassador for the SLO Marathon, I adjusted my race schedule.  My first half of the year will be March 23 and this weekend I will be racing a 10K at a nearby college instead.   I will then spend the day enjoying SLO.    But I still have tomorrow off.  🙂

Yesterday, I packed everything I needed to hit the gym after work.  I was planning on 4 miles with some sort of speed drills thrown in.   The weather was amazing throughout the day and I was dreading the treadmill.   On a last minute whim, I decided to chance it.  I didn’t have my Garmin, I didn’t have my running belt and I only had my Wave Riders.  I had never run in them outside only on the treadmill plus one puppy walk.   But I was running outside!

scenes from the run
scenes from the run

I checked the sunset time and knew I could get in 3 miles.    Maybe 3.5 if I pushed it.   I had an armband, so I shoved my phone in it and was off.   Seriously, I have never changed that fast and I was walking up the block before everyone else was in their cars.    I had a 3 mile route planned, out and back.     The first 1.5  miles are slightly downhill so in this route I am usually quicker going out than coming back.  The first mile felt a little rough, I was breathing heavier than usual.   I took that as a sign that 3.5 would not be happening.  That is until Nike chimed in at mile 1- 9:00.  Holy crap, that’s race pace not training!

Change in plans, now I wanted to run 4 and hold that pace.    Mile 2 came in at 8:57, then the turn around.  Here I did stop for a few pics, also to lose the sweatshirt I had started out in.    I ran past so many photo opportunities but I wanted to hold pace and beat the setting sun.   Then it was back the way I came, uphill.  I always walk a part of mile 3 as the road in the state park gets super narrow.  The return route has a blind corner on a downhill for cars, so I slow down to pay more attention to the cars.  I figure it’s easier to jump out of the way when I am not huffing and puffing.  🙂

Heck Yeah!!!
Heck Yeah!!!

The sun set just past mile 3.  The last bit of uphill was hard and I knew I was slowing.  I hit my car and was only at 3.8 so I ran around the block again.  Luckily I hit 4 and stopped Nike before walking a cool down.  Which was cool because I was not running around the block and the police station again.   Figured that would look a little odd.  🙂

I was so pumped after this run.   I had no idea I could do that in a training run.   I think racing the sun was a huge part of that.  That pace would not have happened at the gym.    Nor would it have been so pretty.  Plus I could smell the ocean and the eucalyptus while running.  I may have to try that again next week.

Poor Shoe
Poor Shoe

On an annoying note, today my favorite boots decided to lose a bottom.  I almost took a header while walking across the tile floor.   Now I am trying to decide if they are worth repairing or if they should be retired like a pair of running shoes.   They probably have a similar amount of miles on them.  🙂

Now I just need to decide how to spend my four days off.  Is it bad that I kind of want to have an Austen marathon?  Jane Austen, that is.  Or maybe I can get my friend to actually go to the movies.  Hmmmm.  And somehow, I agreed to help my mother with tennis practice tomorrow.   One thing I know, I will be sleeping later tomorrow morning.  🙂

Anyone have big plans for Valentine’s day?

Who’s racing this weekend?