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!!

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Setting up for success but met with failure

Well, this morning was a run where everything was set up to go perfectly and it really didn’t go well at all.

Gah. I’ll keep this short. I feel like I wasted my good gear on a crappy run. I know that’s not really how it works, but I’m not sure how else to express it. I was planning on running a 7-mile loop through Piedmont and around Lake Merritt – the same route I ran on Thanksgiving. Put on my cushioned shoes, warm socks, favorite shorts and top, and started the run. Piedmont Ave was really busy but I dealt with it, dodging shoppers and walkers – no big deal – but I think I started out too quickly. I don’t know. Two miles in, my knee was aching every single step.

Well, there's the whole Lake, the whole Lake I couldn't run around today...
Well, there’s the whole Lake, the whole Lake I couldn’t run around today…

I’m frustrated because I can’t pinpoint what’s wrong, I’m frustrated because I got my good gear all sweaty for a short run, and I’m frustrated because I didn’t get to finish my whole run.

I’m currently icing my knee. Here’s hoping it’s doing way better tomorrow!

Running now at 79 merry miles to go.

The Cliched “Dread-Mill” Post

I did a quick 5k on the treadmill tonight and reminded myself of why I haven’t been on a dreadtreadmill in 8 years.

Do you have any motivation tips? Tips to keep yourself entertained? Help me treadmill runners, you’re my only hope!

But really, honestly, I haven’t been on a treadmill for longer than a brief warmup in years. After the first mile I finally found my feet – and didn’t feel like I was going to slip off with every step – but I had to fight for every quarter mile. I’m counting this toward Merry Miles – checking in at 82 miles to go – but I was probably scowling the entire run. Not really the mission behind the message.

How do I become this. Gah.
How do I become this. Gah.

 

I prefer sushi to foam rolls.

My knee has been acting up a few miles into my runs recently, so I thought it would be a good idea to foam roll the supporting muscles today.

Lesson learned: foam rolling is a practice in consistency.

I have lots of big, long...gear that needs to live somewhere. So it lives next to my couch (roller, Stick, noodle, yoga mat, and... cat toys).
I have lots of big, long…gear that needs to live somewhere. So it lives next to my couch (roller, Stick, noodle, yoga mat, and… cat toys).

There are plenty of foam rolling routines out there. I prefer this one from USAT. Because I’m lazy, I don’t have a good routine to show you other than that one – I roll inconsistently and where it hurts (disclaimer: this is NOT how you should do it! Be consistent! Do as I say not as I do!!).

Today is day four of Merry Miles! I’ve got 85 miles left to go until New Years.

 

Merry Miles

This is something you want to do. I promise.

I read a post on the r/running subreddit the other day. The poster was sharing why they greet everyone they see on their run – be it a hello, a smile, a wave – and it was touching. Their post inspired a lot of other people, too, as their Facebook page has grown by about 500 members in the past 24 hours.

I learned that day that it’s simply not OK to pass another human being and pretend they don’t exist. There’s no way of knowing at first glance who’s out just enjoying the scenery and who’s at the end of their rope, and ultimately it shouldn’t matter. Every person deserves to be seen and acknowledged.

Please join me in participating in Merry Miles. The goal is to “go” 100 miles between Thanksgiving and New Years. My goal is complete those 100 miles running – I have 90 left to go.

Run on an Island – Alameda Does Holiday Kick-Offs Right

This past Saturday was the Alameda Holiday Kick-Off 5k, benefitting the Multiple Myeloma Foundation (in honor and memory of the RD’s father).

There was an impressive showing from OTC and ETPA (Elite Triathlon Performance America) at the race!

I made the mistake of thinking a burrito would be a fantastic dinner choice the night before. Spoiler alert: it was a great dinner, it was not a great choice for the night before a race.

The race went off without a hitch. It is a small-town 5k – easy parking, easy logistics, and awesome people. The course would be perfect for a PR – assuming no burritos – and there were some fast racers out there. Here are the results – the winner went a blazing 16:42 – and a member of Oakland Triathlon Club came in 3rd with a 20:34! Everyone was thrilled to be there and excited to race.

I love boxers. I love boxers far more than I love (hate) running.
I love boxers. I love boxers far more than I love (hate) running.

 

Race Report – Oakland Triathlon Festival

I love Oakland. Have I mentioned that before?

Date: August 29, 2015   |   Location: Oakland, CA

Weather: Cool, fog to drizzle to fog to sun, 60-70 degrees

Race: Sprint   |    Age Group: 20-24

Results: Division – 1/11; Overall – 67; Women – 15

Location Distance Pace Chip Time Place (W/Div)
Swim 965 m (0:15:55)** 1:39/100 m** 15:55 2/1
T1 (5:49 min) 21:54
Bike 20 km (0:39:59 min) 18.6 mph 1:01:33 14/1
T2 (1:29 min) 1:02:02
Run 5 km (0:31:33) 10:11 min/mile 1:34:47 67/7
Finish (1:32:05 min) 1:32:05 70/2
Aw. 55+ racers and dozens of volunteers. These folks rock.
Aw. 55+ racers and dozens of volunteers. These folks rock.

Continue reading “Race Report – Oakland Triathlon Festival”