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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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.

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.

 

Ugh. Where have you been?!

Where have I been?

I’ve been busy. Is that a lame answer? Yep. Really sorry, though. I promise I’ll be better about keeping current and relevant.

What am I doing?

I am currently feeling guilty that I’ve been so quiet. I’ve been working, training, working some more, eating, sleeping… Lots of all of those things.

Have I been racing?

Yep! Just raced the fantastic Morro Bay Sprint Triathlon this past weekend. It was seriously be gorgeous. I had never been to Morro Bay or San Luis Obispo before AND I got some bestie time 🙂 no complaints. Write up to follow shortly!

This upcoming weekend, I’ll be competing at a college alumni swim meet. By “compete” I of course mean “do two laps as fast as I can without getting totally killed by college kids.”

Thanks for being there and I promise I’ll be here.

Hella Oakland.
Hella Oakland.

Training Recap – July 11

You’ve heard of “sharrows,” right?

They’re a city’s alternative to dedicated bike lanes; they allow a cyclist to use the whole lane. Or, you know, share. Sharing. Marked with arrows. Sharrows.

Both the weather and my equipment cooperated. Just watch out for Karl the Fog in the distance.
Both the weather and my equipment cooperated. Just watch out for Karl the Fog in the distance.

Continue reading “Training Recap – July 11”