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!!

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.

 

Morro Bay – Theme: Rock

Bestie Race!!!

Quick note: anything ‘rock’ related was fair game for jokes this weekend. Detour on 101? Rock Road. Instagram topic? Dwayne Johnson. Looming geological feature which Mom and I spent hours reading about on Wikipedia? Morro Rock (it is actually super cool). Really – all we talked about this weekend was ‘rock’ in all its forms. Except when Mom (aka the super-sherpa) found a Great Blue Heron and was very sad she missed a picture and then was super-ecstatic when he was there a few minutes later.

Mom, the heron, and the rock. She's going to kill me for sharing this picture.
Mom, the heron, and the rock. She’s going to kill me for sharing this picture.

Date: November 9, 2015  |  Location: Morro Bay, CA

Weather: Cool, clear skies, 60-70 degrees (except for the 58 degree water)

Race: Sprint  |  Age Group: 20-29

Results: Division – 2/14; Overall – 36; Women – 7/44

Location Distance Pace Chip Time Place (W/Div])
Swim 750 m (0:12:11) 1:37/100 m 12:11 1/1
T1 (1:21 min) 13:32 1/1
Bike 20.5 km (0:38:48 min) 19.8 mph 52:20 6/2
T2 (1:09 min) 53:29 4/1
Run 5.4 km (0:39:46)* 10:44 min/mile 1:33:17 23/6
Finish (1:33:17 min) 1:33:17 7/2
So awesome. Despite technical difficulties, so fun. Also the medals have rocks on them.

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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.

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Oakland Triathlon Festival – Sprint Run Course Preview

You practice stuff so it isn’t as ugly on the actual event.

And today was a great example of that. I drove down to Jack London Square to get a feel for the run course this morning, and felt great on mile one. And then my stomach decided to give me the middle finger.

Well, this was my version of following a map. I also got sidetracked giving Tri-Valley Triathlon Club directions.
Well, this was my version of following a map. I also got sidetracked giving Tri-Valley Triathlon Club directions.

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Oakland Triathlon Festival – Preview to the Preview

It’s almost time – we are officially 16 days out from the Second Annual Oakland Triathlon Festival.

I have been really distracted since the Sandman. I was working on a run foundation all last week, hitting a solid two-mile loop for five days, but this week has been negligible at best. I swam hard on Sunday, and haven’t done much of anything else (active, at least) since. I have been diving deep into other exciting things, but unfortunately that precluded my race preparation.

What does this mean? This weekend: all Oakland, all the time.

Love. The. Logo.
Love. The. Logo.

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Sandman Preview

I went to a classic theater in Oakland a few weeks ago to watch Jaws on the big screen. Great idea for an open water swimmer.

It was 2 days after I had registered for the Sandman Triathlon in Aptos, California (August 2).

And you know what was discovered the day before that? Fifteen great white shark pups hanging out around the Cement Ship – the focal point of the Sandman swim. You hear pups, and you may think, aw, cute, babies.

THESE BABIES ARE 7-8 FEET LONG.

Don’t get me wrong – I love sharks. What a truly awesome animal. But I don’t really want to swim through a herd of baby great whites during this triathlon.

What a glorious swim course. Just hope the natives aren't too territorial.
What a glorious swim course. Just hope the natives aren’t too territorial.

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