Less than a week to the Oakland Running Festival!

Time flies. We’re officially less than a week to the Oakland Running Festival.

And somehow, my blister is healed and my flu is now just a little cough (oh KJ, ye of little faith). I’m terrified that I’m not ready because I basically missed the past two weeks of training (eff you, blister and flu) but at least I know I can finish the race. I know what to expect, I know there are lots of turns and long straight aways, I just have to make it through!

My favorite part of this race is that it finishes around Lake Merritt. If you follow me on Strava, then you know that Lake Merritt is included in…what, 90% of my runs? And that when I’m adding volume, I front-stack that volume so I’m wrapping up my run around the lake. My last long run was nine miles – I figure that if I can make it through that (yes, KJ, you can do that), then all I have left is my regular old Lake Merritt route, and I can do that in my sleep.

Well, I looked like I survived. I'll tell you right now, this was in between bouts of nausea.
Post 2014 race. 100% sure we will not have this weather.

I’m also planning on running with the pace group. Originally, my goal was to run with the 2:20 group and hope to hold on in the last mile. After the month I’ve had, I realized I needed to adjust that goal to the 2:30 group at the least. That should land me comfortably around 11:30 min/mile, which I should definitely be able to keep up with. I’ve never run with a pace group before, though, so I’m a little unsure of what to expect! Any suggestions?

Are you racing this Sunday? Either in Oakland or elsewhere? If so, good luck!

Brazen Bay Breeze: 10km Race Report

The race was fantastic, but I’ll be honest with you – I was miserable.

Not through anything the organizers, volunteers, or other racers did. I have no idea what happened, but I was in pain, I was exhausted, and I hated every second of that run. I was unable-to-walk-sore for a full day, literally parked it on the couch for a full 36 hours afterwards, and have absolutely no explanation for it. Check out Brazen Racing’s Bay Breeze Half Marathon/10km/5km. Finish: 1:03:07.

Well, maybe one explanation: I told myself I was going into this as a training run.

Psyching myself out as the race began :(
Psyching myself out as the race began 😦

Was that my mistake? Was my mental game SO off that I psyched myself into this? Was it that my body just physically exhausted and because my mentality was not hyper-competitive, I couldn’t muscle my way through it? The world may never know…

Mile / Pace: 1/9:52 \\ 2/9:38 \\ 3/9:58 \\ 4/10:15 \\ 5/11:12 \\ 6/11:22 \\ 0.1/9:28

So, as you can see, my pace died. I died. It was really hard!

Parking: Well, this park simply isn’t made for this many people all driving separately, so parking is a little tight. The organizers warned participants that there’d be a walk, and a walk there was. Doesn’t bother me when it’s a running event – were this a tri, it may be a different story (multisport equipment weighs…a little more than running gear!!). I got there early (well, early enough), found parking, and had time to pick up my bib and get going. No biggie.

Venue: San Leandro Marina Park is pretty cool. The day of the race was pretty overcast and chilly, but it’s a huge park that I had no idea existed. There’s some hotels, restaurants, and golf courses nearby too. The venue itself seemed plenty large for all the participants.

Course: A little background: Brazen is typically a trail run race company. Is the Bay Shore Trail a…trail? Kind of, but it’s paved, so I wouldn’t count it as a real ‘trail’. The organizers offer a hiking division, which is supposed to start before the half marathon for all distances. Then the half marathon starts, then the 10 km, then the 5 km. The out and back course is flat as a pancake, which was pretty nice considering I hate hills with a passion. The trail was wide enough for the most part. But, as I hit mile 5, I realized I was in for a huge surprise: walkers. Lots, and lots, of 5 km walkers. Walking in 2-, 3-, and yes, I counted, one 7-across packs. Considering I had been on the course for nearly 50 minutes at that point, and they had started 10 minutes back, this seemed like pretty poor planning. But, not race director planning – the organizers had the ‘walking’ division, so maybe it was laziness of the participants? The 5 km started so much later than the walk division they maybe just didn’t want to get up early? I don’t know. I already felt awful and I was upset by this. Otherwise a great course, and if it were more convenient to my house, I’d probably train out there.

Volunteers/Support: Fantastic as always. We hit three aid stations on the 10 km, and the volunteers were super nice and surprisingly talented water-passers. Thanks!!

Expo: This was my first race with Brazen, and now I see why they have such a following.

So much food. If you have a sweet tooth, you should race with Brazen.
So much food. If you have a sweet tooth, you should race with Brazen.

Their post-race expos are incredible. Ok, maybe this one was extra special because it was easily accessible to vendors (and not in the hills), but I have never seen a post-race spread of food this huge before. Major highlight? An It’s It before 11 am.

I definitely plan on racing in another Brazen event! Super chill, great organization, and they treat their participants really well. Just need to get my new Topo Runventures in the mail! And, I’m sure my teammates will too – several members of OTC were there, including one woman who demolished her goal time of breaking one hour in the 10 km!!

Pity, Party of One

No, I’m not asking for your empathy or pity. Just hosting my own little pity party from my bed.

So I needed to run 5 miles according to my half marathon plan last week. I didn’t get up in the morning and brought my stuff to work, instead. And forgot socks. I never get blisters, and I’ve put in almost 200 miles on this pair of shoes, and I wound up with a massive (ok, not compared to some of the monstrosities Google can present) blister on my right arch.

I’ve been carefully treating the bad boy for several days, and since it lives on the bottom of my foot, there’s very little blood flow and hence… slow recovery.

At least I have my new Topo Hydroventures waiting for me to hit the El Nino-soaked trails once I'm better!
At least I have my new Topo Hydroventures waiting for me to hit the El Nino-soaked trails once I’m better!

And, shocker, this morning I discovered that in the process of growing the giant blister, subsequently ripping through the giant blister, and not stopping, I actually had formed another blister within the giant jerkface blister. Yep, read that right: blister on raw foot skin inside blister one. EFFFF that. I’ve got 11 days until the Oakland Half Marathon, so you’d think I’d be training through it, right?

Well, nope, because I”m in bed. With the flu. Which has gone around my whole office and I thought I missed. Apparently it only lasts 48 hours, but I’m only on hour 24. Wish me luck.

Hi. Sorry.

Well, I’ve been absent, haven’t I?

Sorry. My bad. The moving, new job, and training finally took its toll. I’m back, I promise.

Big news? Race in 12 days, and I’m now a Level 1 and 2 Certified US Masters Swimming Coach. Whooo. I’ll check back in with a training update shortly!

 

Sorry again.

This week in training: January 24 – 30

January 24 – 30: Well, a new job is hard work

I’m thrilled to have started a new job this week! It’s been a little crazy, especially considering that I am also moving on Wednesday of next week.

Sunday, January 31 Long run, 6 miles (check, most excellent) // Monday, February 1 Master’s swim in the morning (we’ll see how this goes) // Tuesday, February 2 Pace run, 4 miles – looking for a 9:45 min/mile pace // Wednesday, February 3 Short run, 2 miles – love having a foundation route literally around the block // Thursday, February 4 Pace run, 4 miles, and hopefully a master’s swim in the morning or evening  // Friday, February 5 Rest day! // Saturday, February 6 Master’s swim and a chill run afterwards

Previous week: So much for the groove. Looking forward to that next week.  Working on it.

Gorgeous day around Lake Merritt!! Can’t complain about six miles in my Topos 🙂

Sunday, January 24 Long run, 5 miles (yuuupp) // Monday, January 25 Master’s swim in the morning (nooooope) // Tuesday, January 26 Pace run, 4 miles – looking for a 9:45 min/mile pace  (noooope) // Wednesday, January 27 Short run, 2 miles (nooope) // Thursday, January 28 Pace run, 4 miles (not quite) // Friday, January 29 Rest day! (psh got it) // Saturday, January 30 Master’s and bike (Noope)

 

This week in training: January 24 – 30

January 24 – 30: Let’s make some moves

First day back to Master’s practices? Check. New (huge) opportunity tomorrow? Double check. Let’s make this happen.

Sunday, January 24 Long run, 5 miles // Monday, January 25 Master’s swim in the morning // Tuesday, January 26 Pace run, 4 miles – looking for a 9:45 min/mile pace // Wednesday, January 27 Short run, 2 miles – love having a foundation route literally around the block // Thursday, January 28 Pace run, 4 miles, and hopefully a master’s swim in the morning or evening  // Friday, January 29 Rest day! // Saturday, January 30 Probably going to Master’s and bike (weather-dependent). May throw a run in too. DO ALL THE THINGS.

Previous week: Alright. Getting in the groove! Still not perfectly consistent but ready for a new routine!!!

On top of all the other good news, I am a 2016 TOPO AMBASSADOR!! I love these shoes and I love what they do for me.
On top of all the other good news, I am a 2016 TOPO AMBASSADOR!! I love these shoes and I love what they do for me.

Sunday, January 17 Long run, 4 miles Nope, friend was in town. // Monday, January 18 Long run, 4 miles and recover after a friend weekend // Tuesday, January 19 Rest day partly because I’m exhausted, partly because my apartment flooded, and partly because I am lazy // Wednesday, January 20 Pace run, 3.5 miles at 9:45 min/miles still dealing with flooding, just had to go home and wait it out // Thursday, January 21 Swim in the morning and pace run, 3.5 miles at 9:55 min/mile; core strength training – ran with Sports Basement Berkeley and attended a foot strengthening clinic – so far, very painful but helpful  // Friday, January 22 Easy 2 miler Last day of old job, needed to just decompress // Saturday, January 23 Mixing it up with swimming, headed back to Cal Aquatic Masters!!!! So excited. Ran a 2 mile brick after for good measure!

Race Calendar 2016

I feel like a planning machine.

Spreadsheets are definitely one of my favorite things. Not totally sure what that says about me as a person, but I crave the power to sort and add and control my data.

Now that I think about it, it probably makes me sound like an athlete.

Anyway, I’ve created a race calendar for the coming year. Ok, it’s actually been in production for about a month, but it’s nearly finalized. It shows my planned races, races I’m considering, races I’m volunteering at, races I’m spectating at… it’s got everything. I’ve even budgeted hotel costs. But, I won’t bore you with the details, so check out my “for sures” on my race calendar!