Sunday, February 27, 2011

Coastal Trails LaJolla Canyon 5.5 mile race

A saturday race??? What was I thinking?? I coerced a twitter friend, Kari, to run this race with me. So when she signed up I knew I couldn't back down. But wow, when saturday morning came around (and that was yesterday) , after the work week I had had, and I had to get up on a rainy saturday morning at 5:15am, I was really wondering what had gotten into me! I usually cant do anything on saturdays!! I veg on my couch! Not today!

So I fed the cats, made my tea, shoved my clothes on (that I had laid out 2 days before) and grabbed velcro and we headed to the car. I took my greek yogurt with me and ate it in the car. We had to pick up my son first, who is on the way anyway, and ended up getting to LaJolla Canyon around 7:20am. the race started at 8am but I had to pick up my bib and find Kari.
with kari

I had Velcro, so i was easy to spot! We both picked up our bibs and then I headed back to the car with velcro and my son and put my shoes and dirty girl gaiters on.

All the distances started at 8am. Us short 5 milers (it ended up being 5.5 miles) had the pink ribbons. We headed up the hill. Yep, up up up! I started off tired and it took me a bit to get into climbing!

We walked the steeps and ran with very short steps some of the less steep parts. Kari and I talked the entire time! Just getting to know each other! We passed a few people and maneuvered thru some awesome mud!! I was expecting it to still be raining-but we ended up getting brilliant blue sky and about 48 degrees. perfect temps-I had wanted to rain...but instead of rain we got MUD and lots of it!

Parts of the uphill were muddy and then it would be dry! After going thru the mud, i felt like I had mud snow shoes on. It was awesome and squishy!!

I knew the downhill would be entertaining especially going thru the mud! But I was enjoying the beautiful views, the cool crisp air and a friend to run with and squishy mud! can you tell i was enjoying the mud???

We made it to the top of the hill and were greeted by a true mud fest! it was awesome! Slip sliding away. Mud collected on my shoes, slop slop was great!

At the turnaround point, I decided to tie my shoe laces a bit more. I had felt my heel pulling out of my shoes every step I took in the mud. So with my tighter shoe laces, off we went down the hill and into the downhill mud!
mud during the race

The first mud we hit was spectacular. We ran thru it and I realized how much easier it was to run thru it than to walk thru it. So off we went! We ran down the entire hill, thru the mud, passing people and chatting up a storm! We would pull to the side when the "speedy kids" running the longer distances came by. And in true trail running fashion each one of them said "great job ladies" I love trail runners! No matter what your ability, you are cheered on!!!

On our way down, we passed a hiker entered into the 5 mile race who had given up on the mud and taken off her shoes!! She said she just couldn't take the feeling of her feet coming out of her shoes every time she went thru the mud. I don't know if I could have done that! Happy with my shoes and playing in the mud.

We were racing down the hill-I looked down and saw we were running around a 10 min pace on the trails thru the mud-not too shabby!

post race mud accumulation
I mentioned to Kari how great I was feeling. i'm not sure how or why...maybe it was the cool weather. It sure wasn't the great amount of sleep I got! But i really felt great and was having such a great time!!

We got to the finish and were cheered across the finish line. I saw the time of, not too shabby considering the elevation climb, about 1200'. and the mud we ran thru!

I had an amazing time. And to top it all off, I was first in my Age group!! Yes 1st!!!!! That has never happened! I was the only one in my age group but I was still 1st!!!!!! I got a medal!! Woot Woot!!!

I realized today that trail running and races are my favorite!!! I have now signed up for next sundays PCTR Malibu Creek 25K! A stream crossing will be in my future next sunday as well as a 6 mile uphill! Bring on the trails!!!

RUN: 5.5 miles on the trails approx. 1200' elevation climb 1:25:08

Untitled by southbaygirl at Garmin Connect - Details

Bandit Trail Race 15K.....

Bandit 15K on February 20th 2011.....First trail race of the season!!! And it was up hill for over 4.5 miles. Yeah, that's trail running and I love it!!

This was the first time I had run any trails in Simi Valley-I had no idea the trails in this area. So I came into this race not knowing what to expect!

I knew we'd be running up to Rocky Peak-hmmm that should have keyed me in on what the course was like, and that would be rocky!!!

The first 1.5 miles was pretty technical-there was alot of scrambling and walking up the single track and rocks-and because we had had alot of rain these rocks were pretty slick! So being the old slow gal that i am...I took these slow!

Once past this point, we were on fire roads-and even these were rocky! I ran when i could but some of the "ups" were pretty steep and i find my walking is faster than my running!

The sun was out for the entire race...good thing it was relatively cool! But i was a bit over dressed-good thing I wear a camelbak so i can stash my jackets in it! Gotta love that!

At the turnaround point, at mile 4.2, I stopped and filled up my water bottle and then headed back down. I had picked up a fellow runner, Dan. He and I stuck together the entire downhill. I ran the downhills, until I hit rocky areas and then I cautiously "trotted" over them. We chatted the entire way down!! It was nice to have someone to run with!!

We were joking about the last 1.5 mile technical downhill-we both said we'd be on our asses sliding down! We practically were and then bam-we were passed by one of the "speedy kids" who obviously felt a bit more comfortable running the slick rocks than dan and I did! Oh well!! I was feeling the quad burn and this technical descent wasnt helping! Dan had rolled his ankle just before this part...and I rolled mine just coming off the technical part-silly!!

But we finished with smiles are our faces and just behind three 30K runners-yeah we're slow!!

I realized this was going to be the year for more trail races! I love the trails! i love the feeling of freedom and watching your step! It's fantastic running!!

RUN: 9.4 miles on the trails( 4.2 miles uphill) 2:50:33 with over 2000' elevation climb!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Surf City Half Marathon race report otherwise known as a over 40 year old PR Bitches!

You know I didnt have any thoughts on todays race! I was running it to finish off the California Dreamin series for the second time-gotta love getting a jacket and a big medal of the state of California!

A big bonus to running this race was the possibility of finally meeting Ron aka @Punkrockrunner! I just happened to see Ron standing in the line to get into the expo on saturday! How exciting!!!! Finally I get to meet the all famous Punkrockrunner!!!!

I was running this race with Lauren and Kristy-we were using this race as a long run. Kristy and i were planning on getting 16 miles in. We opted for 2 miles before the race and 1 after the race. So we decided to park at one of the south parking lots on PCH and run to the start! Lauren wasn't going to join us for the additional miles so we were going to meet her at the start!

with Ron aka Punkrockrunner!!!

my stuff!
the morning view from my parking spot...
I am happy! There is a marine layer!
Kristy and i got rockstar parking! Right on the beach and beside the bathrooms! Which we proceeded to use before we headed north!

We started our run and the first thing I noticed was my running skirt was literally falling down to my ass! OMG this was not good! I decided to head back to the car so i could get some safety pins to "take my skirt in" how sad is that! Well, I guess it means I've lost weight so it's not all sad but sad that i had to pin my skirt! Kristy took a picture.....

We made it to the start and immediately found Lauren and Ali, Ali was here to PR her half..... (she did by the way!) And we started walking to the corrals when we ran into Lori and Candace..... what an amazing photo op!!! A group of hot chicks getting ready to run the half!!

with Lauren, Ali, Lori, Kristy and Candace
Kristy, Lauren and i decided to run together. Lauren was on a 9/1 interval so we stuck with her for awhile...then for some odd reason, Kristy and i started to pick up the pace. We turned around and all of a sudden we had lost lauren-what horrible friends we are! We decided to push on-well, I decided I needed to push on since the weather was in my favor right now (the marine layer was in so there was NO SUN!) So we continued. I have to admit, the pace was a bit faster than i was used to. But i kept going. I really wanted to get as far into the race before the sun came out! We ran up the hills and then ran down them-all of a sudden we were running in the 9's-stupid Penny, way too fast for me!!! We took the right turn onto PCH and thats when is aw the best signs of the entire race! I had to stop and take pics!!! How could I not!

my favorite sign of the day!
We were heading north on PCH now, the marine layer was still in and I was feeling a bit wasted. I had been sick during the week and when i started running I felt like I had zero energy...but for some reason i felt the need to push since the sun wasn't out ..( might be because every race i've run lately has been in sun and 70-80 degree heat!)

Around mile 8 I began to feel my chest tighten up and I began to feel shortness of breathe. I pulled my inhaler out and took 2 puffs but alas, I had left it too late. All of a sudden I was in the midst of an asthma attack. Its a horrible feeling when you cant take an entire breathe. it's hard to explain. But when it happens I start to panic a bit-which makes it worse. Right in front of Kristy, I was having an asthma attack. Gasping for air and crying (yeah i know that doesn't make it better but it's scary)...we stopped and I stood there in tears trying to relax and concentrate on my breathing and calming myself down. i cant tell you how happy I was to have Kristy standing there with me! There is something to be said for "not being alone" when something happens! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Kristy!

 We started off again, and i decided to keep my pace around 11:00, we had been hovering around 10:30 and i think it was just too much for me right now-with the lack of training and speedwork due to my wonderful work schedule!

the same guy with the "b" side of the sign
But i was smart enough to pay close attention to how I was feeling-and when i needed to walk, we walked. Kristy stayed right with her!!! When we hit the turnaround point, we started looking for Lauren-we finally saw her. She said she was having knee pain...but we were happy to have seen here.

At this point, I looked at my watch and realized we were running at a really nice pace-a 2:30 pace....should I try??? I decided I'd try my best! I'd run as fast as I could and if I needed to walk i'd walk (yes, I am not afraid to walk). Kristy said she'd stay with me, since she had PR'd 2 weeks ago at Carlsbad.

I was pushing as much as I hindsight could I have pushed a little harder-maybe, but my brain takes over and I'd rather finish feeling decent than find myself in the med tent on oxygen.

I hit the 10 mile mark in 1:57-that was 3 minutes faster than my fastest 10 mile time during a race....could this be the day?? At mile 11.66, I said to Kristy "leave" she was within another PR and with a short distance left, i was ok by myself-even if I had to walk! Off Speedster Kristy went and here I was on my own, having to push myself when not feeling 100%. yeah, it's alot easier when you are running with someone! I'm sure i walked a bit more during this last 1.5 mile stretch than I would have had Kristy stayed, but what can I do. I am who I am....I run with asthma and I take the good with the bad. And today hadn't been fun at mile 8, so i was happy to still be running at mile 11.66!
with Kristy at the finish

The last 1.5 wasn't easy. I would pick a person and follow them in....but would inevitably walk. I was a little pissed off at myself and then would start running again. I saw the 2;30 and then it was gone! Oh well...I know t's within reach-it just wasn't going to be today!!

I crossed the line strong, after running past an older runner who had collapsed right before the finish line. He wasn't looking good. he was getting cpr and an ambulance had been called. He didn't look good-and I said a little prayer as I ran past.....I really hate seeing that!! But it makes you realize that you never know what might happen while running...and it made me thankful that I am a bit paranoid about my breathing...maybe I'm not so stupid!

I crossed the line in 2:35:33....I was a little bummed but then thinking how my race had gone I started to feel quite proud!!! I really pushed thru a tough time and pushed and tried my hardest to get a time goal. I didn't make it but I ran my heart out and in the end had fun and was very proud of myself!!

I found Kristy,she hadn't PR'd but I'm glad she had taken off and tried! Now we waited for Lauren. I knew she was hurting, what we didn't know was that she wasn't having a good race. So we waited until she finished!

my **Bling**
We all headed to the expo tent to pick up the heavy California Dreamin medal! This was my second one! And this was a hard fought last segment of the 3 race series!

I didnt really pay any attention to my time-I didnt get my 2:30, so it would go into the pile of races that were well past my 2000 PR of 2:11 (back when i was a bit younger and had more free time). What I didn't know though was that I had just run the fastest half marathon since the 2003 Winter Wonderland Half marathon!!!! And had taken 2 minutes off my 2010 Surf City Half time!!!

I have a new 0ver 40 year old PR!!!!!! And I have run the fastest race in over 7 years! WOW!!!!!! So excited!! thrilled and so surprised!!!!

O course what did I do to celebrate. Got a chocolate shake, veggie burger and fries and went home and popped open an ice cold beer!!!

nothing better than a burger and beer after a race!

Surf City Half:

2:35:33 new over 40 year old PR

Carlsbad Half Marathon race report

yeah 2 weeks later I'm finally writing this! work is my excuse!

This was the 3rd year I've run the Carlsbad half. I run this race for one of the official race charities, labrador rescuers. So this race is special to me. To be able to raise money and run for an animal charity is the best of both worlds!

I've been working pretty insane hours at work-so my training hasn't been great-but it never stops me from running!

We headed down to carlsbad on saturday and went straight to the expo. The first stop, the Labrador Rescuers booth. I got to meet some of the Labs that have benefitted from the monies raised! And of course got doggy kisses!!

I am thrilled to say I raised quite a bit of money!!! $3646.00 to be exact!!! I am thrilled! Thank you to everyone who helped me surpass my fundraising goal!

I went into the expo and got my bib and then went to get my race shirt and visit Amy at the booth! I LOVE their bamboo running shirts! They are the best! And every year she donates 20% of purchase noted as a Labrador Rescuers purchases to my carlsbad charity! super people! thanks Amy!

After the expo, my dad and i headed to the hotel to veg before our dinner with a bunch of friends! Fern had come down from Colorado, originally to run but a virus got the better of her, so she was cheering, Beth was running her very first half, Kristy and her dad were running the carlsbad Half for the first time and everyone else was just enjoying an evening of pasta and good fun!
with Beth, Fern and Jenny

Robert and Kristy
it was an early nite since we all had to be up early to run! My dad and i headed back to the hotel and I laid out all my running stuff and settled in to watch a movie on free HBO-it's the little things!!!

I stayed up later than planned-but whats new-that always seems to happen the night before a race! My dad fell asleep right away but he was sick and needed his sleep.

For the first time, I'd be driving to the start instead of my dad dropping me off. i wanted him to sleep as much as possible since he was sick!

I was driving Kristy and her dad and also beth. A car full!

my race outfit

The first thing once we got to the mall in carlsbad, which is where we park and the race starts, was head to the toilets. We went into the mall to use the bathrooms. An odd sensation using an actual toilet before a race instead of a porta potty! The lines were ridiculous-I think everyone was using the mall toilets because it was "chilly" outside (whatever)....after the toilets, I headed back to the car, which was luckily right by the starting line and grabbed my water bottles and dumped my jacket.

with Beth and Kristy
I was starting in wave 4...i hunted it down and waited for the start! I was lucky to start the race with some wonderful women! Always nice to start a race with friends!

I ran quite a bit with kristy, when the sun wasnt out and it was cool. She was gunning for a PR and I was hoping for a sub 2:30 but that didnt happen once the sun came out and it warmed up!!!! So Kristy took off in search of her PR and I trudged along hiding from the sun and heat waiting to see my girl, Velcro, at the turnaround! I was counting down to see her-she always gives me a pick up!! And i needed it!!!

with irene and beth

The views during the race are really to die for! The half takes you along the beach in carlsbad and it is beautiful! But all i wanted to see was my dad and velcro! I cant tell you how happy I was to see my furbaby and my dad! He had my ZICO coconut water ready for me and I drank quite a bit of it! I'm a big fan of coconut water!! And of course my girl gave me a doggy kiss-actually i think she was licking the salt off my face! ha ha

I'll let you look at some pics and then I'll get to the last stretch and the finish!

doggie kisses!
crossing the finish line with irene

with irene and our bling!

with my bling!
a post race beer!

All in all it wasnt the race i wanted but I'm still happy. Considering my training really sucks, i get crap sleep and work 65-70 hours a week, I'm happy to run let alone finish half marathons!!! I raised alot of money for an amazing charity and i had fun! And thats really why i run...ok, I run for the medals as well but it is because i love to run and I love meeting new friends and sharing the experience with my friends!

thanks for reading and sharing my running experience!!

Half Marathon: 

2:41:58 pace 12:22