Posted in BibRave Reviews, Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

Humidity, hills, and a half marathon, oh my – My San Diego Craft Classic Race report

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the San diego Craft Classic Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

If I could describe the San Diego Craft Classic in one word, it would be humbling. I had run the Craft Classic before when it was in July and I remembered it being okay. It was a bit of a challenge, but I remember doing well enough that I didn’t think about preparing much going into the race. Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

A few days before the race, I had gotten a migraine that lasted about 2 days. I thought I was dehydrate or going through caffeine withdrawal so I took some advil and drank lots of water. The migraine had lessened on Saturday so I figured I’d be okay.

Bib Pick Up was at Road Runner Sports so I quickly drove down, got my bib, my cute “One a beer run” tank, my pint glass, and was on my way.  This race isn’t huge so there really isn’t an expo, but since it’s held at a running shoe store, there’s usually some type of discount given to runners at the store. In this case, it was 20% off. ๐Ÿ™‚

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The morning of the race, I wasn’t feeling particularly confident, but thought it’d be fine. I wasn’t planning on PRing or anything and I knew there’d be hills so there’d be no reason to race 110% just to die at the hills. The humidity was high and I vaguely remember it being similarly humid two years ago when I last ran it. Although last time, I had a hydration vest, which is what I should have done this time around.

Fast forward to the start of the race. I, of course, started out way too quickly. I was at the start of the wave and since the first part of the race is somewhat bottle necked, I took this opportunity to stay ahead of the wave. Mistake #1. I clocked my first mile in at a sub 8. Shit I thought. “I need to slow down.” Only I didn’t. I was trying to push through and tell myself that it’s only 12 more miles and that it’d be over before I knew it. Mistake #2.

It wasn’t.

The first half of the course is predominantly downhill and if you don’t pace yourself, you will burn out like I did in the second half. Did I mention that the second half is mostly uphill? Yep. I knew that going in too because my bib outlined the course elevation perfectly and I was just too dumb to ignore it. Not to mention, the humidity was destroying my body’s ability to regulate temperature. I was sweating, but because it was humid, the sweat wasn’t evaporating and I wasn’t cooling down. So I tried to take it easy the second half. I walked up most hills and struggled to run even down some. At mile 12, there is one last major hill and of course, my body freaked out. My chest had tightened and honestly, I was angry as hell. I was upset I wouldn’t finish the race. LOL. I walked up most of the hill, took deep breaths, and luckily, the tightness disappeared. It was an intense moment and with heart disease as a problem in my family, know that I will be getting this checked out. I was able to jog to the finish post-hill and whew, I was exhausted. I chugged water at the aid stations and was taking in whatever electrolytes they had. I had to pass on the free beer, but was glad to see friends have their fill of it. ๐Ÿ˜› After 30 minutes in the shade, I felt better and even took part in their free massages, which I would highly recommend post-race. ๐Ÿ™‚

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So this race was definitely not my race and I’ve learned a lot from it. If running in humid weather, wear a hydration vest, and slow the eff down. And drink lots of water and have electrolytes the week of your race.

Question for you: Have you ever had a scary race experience? 

 

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Posted in Running, Thoughts

Two weeks later and its race week again!

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the San diego Craft Classic Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

As I sit here writing this post, I’m smiling because it’s race weekend again. Just 2.5 weeks ago, I raced my 26th half marathon and in 4 short days, I’ll be running my 27th half. ๐Ÿ™‚ And on a side note, in a year or so, I’ll have run as many half marathons as the years I’ve made it around the sun. Exciting, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, it’s been awhile since I’ve updated you all on my plantar fasciitis and the reason is that it’s because I still have it. LOL. I didn’t want to spend posts and posts complaining about it so I just stopped posting about it. The pain is better, but it unfortunately is still lingering. On bad days, it sucks to run and on good days, I feel like I’m super woman and would contemplate signing up for another marathon or even a 50k. Yes, I said a 50k. I’m that crazy.

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My race shirt from the last time I ran the SD Craft Classic Half

I haven’t committed to anything yet because it’d be silly of me to sign up for anything longer than a half. I mean I’m silly to even run a half, but honestly, I’m going a little stir crazy so racing half marathons is my way of coping. Counter intuitive I know, but hey, whatever works. Haha

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Running around beautiful San Diego

So yes, let’s get back to race week. I’m totally not tapering because well, you can’t really taper much if you’ve only been logging in 20ish miles a week. LOL. It’s a little discouraging, but I’m still hopeful that the second half of the year will be better than the first. ๐Ÿ™‚

My “training” for this race has been pretty good surprisingly. I’ve done a few training runs up hill recently and my calves aren’t as tight as they used to be. Thank you plantar and my PT for hours of stretching. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think I can manage running up the king of the mountain hill, but if not, I’ll make sure to capture it on IG stories as I walk up it. ๐Ÿ˜€  I’m hoping to beat my time of 2:00:01 two years ago, but if I don’t, it’s not a loss. ๐Ÿ™‚ I just want to run and if I can, it’s still a win. ^_^

Question for you: How many half marathons have you run? Do you have a goal of how many you’ll run in your lifetime? ๐Ÿ™‚ Me? I’m thinking at least 50 halfs and maybe 20 fulls. That’d be a satisfying number for me. 

And if you haven’t signed up yet and want to race last minute, use code BIBRAVE10 for $10 off the half and BIBRAVE5 for $5 off the 5k.

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Race Report

Disclaimer: I received an entry into theย Garry Bjorklund Half Marathonย as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming aย BibRave Proย (ambassador), and check outย BibRave.comย to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

It’s been almost a week since I raced the Garry Bjorklund half marathon and oh how I want to say so much about how amazing this race is, but to prevent you from having to read my ramblings, I’ll try to keep it as short as I can while also doing the race justice.

Housing: I only planned on staying a night and most places require a minimum 2 night stay so a friend told me about housing at a dorm. Luckily, Marshall school allowed for a 1 night stay and it was super close to the buses that would take us to the start. They even provided everyone with a runner friendly breakfast the morning of the race and bags of ice for those who needed to ice their legs post-race.

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Breakfast of champions available from 4 – 6 am race morning

 

Expo: The expo was held at the DECC (Duluth Entertainment Convention Center) and it’s quite an experience. They have an AYCE pasta dinner that runners can attend in the first huge room. There are tables set up with bread and you just pay, file in, and eat to your stomach’s content. You then walk through the main expo to pick up your bib and race packet. Since the race is on Saturday, they do keep the expo open until 10 pm that night. Perfect for an out of town racer like myself.

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Ready to go!

 

Course: It is BEAUTIFUL out there. Coming from the west coast, I was amazed and how green everything was. Yes, I know. I’m showing my CA roots. LOL. The half starts in the middle of the full marathon course and starts at 6:15 am, a full hour and 30 min before the full. This allows most of the half marathoners to cross the finish line before any full marathoners make it there.

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For most of the course, you’re running along Lake Superior and at each mile marker, there would be balloons flying high in the sky indicating that you had passed another mile. I loved that part about the race. When I struggled to get to the next mile, it gave me a sense of hope to see those balloons flying high.

 

The elevation of this course was a little deceiving. Going in, I honestly thought it’d be flat as a pancake. It was not. Both the half and full are full of rolling hills. They’re not tough hills, but they’re hills nonetheless and there were moments where I had to pump my arms to get through them.

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Course support was well spread throughout the course. I got water when I needed and there were enough aid stations that I could skip some and get the next one. There were plenty of spectators and even some neighbors who came out, grilled hot dogs or bacon, and were handing them out to runners. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you checked out my IG story last weekend, you’ll know that I grabbed a piece of bacon along the course (probably my favorite moment).

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Finish line: The race finishes right next to the lake. A lot of runners (not me), will jump into the lake to cool off their legs. Once you cross the finish line, you’ll be awarded your finisher medal, your finisher shirt, food and drink, and make your way through the finisher’s festival. Everyone gets a drink ticket for beer and there are food vendors available for you know…everyone who just ran a half or full. ๐Ÿ™‚ I came across a tent that was just giving away decently sized pork portions to runners and much smaller portions to non-runners. LOL.

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Hospitality: The Duluth community really do cater to the runners that come in from all over the place. There were signs everywhere inviting runners to come visit and I don’t think I met anyone mean. ๐Ÿ™‚

Final thoughts: This race is not a cheap one especially if you’re a solo traveler like I was. AirBnB prices and hotels often have a 2 night stay minimum the weekend of this race so book early if you’re looking to save or plan a racecation with friends to ease the cost. Flying there is also not always the most economically friendly if you’re from the West Coast. I flew into Minneapolis and drove to Duluth (3 hours there and 2.5 hours back) to make things a bit economically friendlier for myself.

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That being said, this race was a super fun one. I flew in the day before the race and was EXHAUSTED AS F***, but the race managed to keep my spirits up and I enjoyed every moment of it. I had a great time catching the sunrise right before the race, running along the massive lake, seeing all the amazing supporters along the way, and eating all the food people handed to me. LOL. I’d do it again and hopefully next time, I can do the full. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you have any questions about the half or the full, leave a comment below. It was honestly a great experience and I’d totally recommend it as a bucket list race.

Posted in Running, Thoughts

Running Together with Sabre

Disclaimer: I received Sabre Run Productsย as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check outย BibRave.comย to review, find, and write race reviews!

Yes, I’m back with another gear review and this time, it’s for Sabre Red, a company who’s mission is to make us feel safer when we’re alone, out and about, and even at home.

I have had panic attacks on a few night runs within the last few years and so I was super excited to be able to try their products out. I was givenย their pepper gel, their personal alarm with clip and LED light, and their runner personal alarm with wristband and night reflective logo.

Pepper Gel – It has a 12 foot range so whether your attacker is up close or 12 feet away, you’ll be able to spray this gel to sting their faces and run away. The switch to lock and unlock is easy enough to turn, but not so easy that you’ll accidentally unlock it and spray yourself in the face. Much appreciated, Sabre. ๐Ÿ™‚

Personal alarm with clip and LED light – Treat this as a LED light that also has the capability of emitting a high pitched frequency that is LOUD when you press a button. It also has the added perk of clipping onto a running belt or a pair of shorts when on a run.

My running essentials

Runner personal alarm with wristband and night reflective logo – It doesn’t have a LED light, but does have a reflective logo to increase your visibility. It, like the other alarm also emits a high pitched frequency and honestly, it scared the shit out of me when I first tested it. This alarm is triggered when you pull a key ring out and the alarm fits into a wristband that you can carry around. If you’re not a fan of the wristband, like I am, and wear a running belt instead, you can also stick it in there and in a pinch, pull the key ring and scare the living daylights out of your attacker. ๐Ÿ™‚

Luckily, I haven’t had to use it in a life-threatening situation, but I’m glad to have it on hand. If I need to run alone at night, I’ll definitely be bringing an alarm and my pepper gel with me. If you’re interested in some of these products, you can use “SABRERUN” for 20% off their items. ๐Ÿ™‚

For more reviews on these products, check out what my fellow BibRave Pros have to say.

Meridithย –ย Taushahย –ย Fallonย –ย Lisa

Question for you: Have you ever found yourself in a scary situation when running? Several months ago, I got spooked by a cyclist while running at night. I screamed bloody murder and couldn’t run at night for a few weeks.ย 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

Global Running Day and Another Racing Event added to the 2019 Calendar

I received an entry into the Long Beach Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

Happy belated Global Running day!!! I know I’m two days late, but work got kind of hectic and I just haven’t had as much time to blog. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Sorry!

Every year when global running day comes around, I get kind of excited because it’s somewhat of an unofficial holiday for runners.

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  1. There is a lot of running going on, obviously. ๐Ÿ™‚ A lot of running shoe stores will have group runs. For instance, I spent my Wednesday night running with friends at The Big Run event held by Fleet Feet. Every year, they have this event on global running day where they have runners come out and join them in a free 5k fun run. There are sometimes bib, medals, giveaways, and tasty treats to eat post race. ๐Ÿ™‚
  2. A lot of races and running gear go on sale for the day. Think of it as a mid year black Friday. And if you’re lucky, their sale goes on a few days. ๐Ÿ™‚ One particular sale that was extended until this Friday 6/7/2019 (11:59 PM PST) is that of Motiv Runnings.

Who is Motiv Running? They’re an organization that puts on 14 races, most notably the Long Beach Half/full marathon and the the Surf City Half/full in Southern California. I’ve signed up for the Long Beach half and I would highly recommend this one if you’ve never run it before. I think it’s a beautiful course that takes you through Downtown Long Beach and curves along the water. I’m a sucker for scenic runs along the water. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank goodness I live by the ocean.

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My first time running the Long Beach Half Marathon in 2015

Anyway, their current sale has a lot of their races being discounted for up to 40% so I would recommend heading over there if you’re looking to find a good deal on a race. Their sale ends tonight at 11:59 pm PST so make sure to sign up soon and if you end up signing up for Long Beach, let me know!

Also, if you missed the sale (post 6/7/2019) , you can still use the code “LBMBR10” for 15% off the Long Beach Half/full marathon registration. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Question for you: Did you register for any races on global running day or buy any fancy new running gear? ๐Ÿ™‚ 

 

Posted in Race Reports, Running

5 Years and 25 Half Marathons Later – My RnR San Diego Race Report

I received an entry into the Rock N Roll San Diego Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

Yes, that’s right. You read that header correctly. In 5 years almost to the day, I have completed 25 half marathons plus some other races and it all started with Rock N Roll San Diego.

It gave me such a good experience the first time around that I kept choosing to run it again and again and two days ago, I completed it for the 4th time.

Looking back on it, I really believe the reason I continued to race half marathons was because of this race.

Rock N Roll San Diego just knows how to put on a good time and after having a ton of pre-race anxiety, this was just what I needed.

Let’s summarize shall we? ๐Ÿ™‚

Pre-race: I stayed with friends that lived close to a trolley station and at 4:30 am, we were out the door to get to SDCCU stadium. We then took a 15 min trolley ride to the Little Italy trolley stop and briskly walked about a mile to the start giving us a nice warm up. We arrived, gear checked, my friends did their porta potty thing, and chit chatted for about 30 min until the start of the race at 6:15 am.

Race:

The start – The race started on time, but due to there being so many corrals, it took quite a bit of time to release everyone. I was in corral 8 and I started at 6:30 am. This year, they had a new design to release runners more slowly. They had gates that funneled everyone through narrower paths so only a 10 runners or so could be released and get a running start to the official start line. This made the first 0.25 miles easier to run through because there weren’t as many runners to maneuver around. I appreciated them, but I think others were annoyed.

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The course – Starting out, I was a bit nervous. My plantar fasciitis still wasn’t terribly better and although I was running through it, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to complete the race. Fast forward two miles and everything started to move more quickly. My plantar wasn’t acting up as much and when we entered Hillcrest, I could see all the drag queens in colorful wigs and boobs screaming up and down for us. LOL. It’s one of my favorite parts of the race. Then up and down we go for a mile or two before we hit the blue mile, where runners are encouraged to wear blue to remember our fallen military heroes. I had run through this section the past three times I ran it and this was probably the first time I truly looked at the photos and honestly, it tugged at my heartstrings seeing all those young men and women who were killed in action.

Shortly after, the unofficial alcohol stations starting popping up and every year, I swear more and more start popping up. I counted maybe 4 or 5 houses that brought their A game (and by A game, I of course mean Alcohol). Some neighbors were providing shots of whiskey, some donuts and whiskey, some were handing out beer, and some were making some unidentified drink. ๐Ÿ™‚ I did not partake as I did not want to throw up, but seeing them definitely brought a smile to my face. I even saw a Doctor Who themed alcoholic station!

The latter half of the race was kind of a blur, but I do remember how I felt at different parts of the course in previous years.

At mile 1.5 where I started out too fast one year and had forgotten about the rolling hills.

At mile 7 where I had started walking and crying because it had gotten so warm.

Around mile 11 where I had seen a friend and she ran with me the rest of the way encouraging me to continue.

At mile 12.5 where I had run with a friend for her first half marathon and she was so in the zone, I told her to keep going without me.

And of course at the finish line, where I had finished 3 times prior.

It’s hard for me to put into words how I felt during the race, but maybe the word that best describes it is JOY.

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I started this race with the sole intention of trying to finish. I had no time goal and no expectation to run fast. And then I went out, enjoyed the course, even played some Pokemon Go, and ran my 6th fastest half marathon (Official time: 1:58:50). If that’s not a win, I don’t know what is. 

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So tell me, has there ever been a time where you blew your own expectations out of the water? I’d love to hear about it. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

Ready or not, here I come

I received an entry into the Rock N Roll San Diego Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

Yes, that’s right. It’s that time again. Time for me to run the Rock N Roll San Diego Half, the first half I’ve ever run, for the 4th time. LOL. You would think that I would be bored of it by now, but honestly I’m not. It’s a wonderfully run race and a LOT of locals run it. I even have friends who have moved away are coming back to run it too. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m super excited to meet up with everyone at the expos on Saturday and at the race itself so if you see me, please don’t be shy. Come and say hi. ๐Ÿ™‚

That being said, I’m also a bit worried that I’ll I won’t finish the half. My plantar was feeling a bit better a few weeks ago where the pain was minimal. I obviously took that as a sign to start running 20+ miles a week and bam, the pain came back annoyingly. It’s really my fault though. The moment I had a few good runs, I felt like I was a puppy who was just released from its cage. I wanted to run free and wild and uhh, my body had other plans.

I was hoping I’d be in better shape by this point, but truth is, I’m not. I have good runs and I have bad runs and unfortunately, this year happens to consist of more bad than good ones. I have high hopes that it won’t always be like this as it’s only been two months, but honestly, two months where I can’t just go out and run every day is getting to me.

It hasn’t been all bad though. I’ve resumed playing Pokemon Go when I do run to distract me from the fact that I can’t run far. I run a bit, stop to catch a pokemon, and continue on. It puts less stress on my legs by breaking the mileage apart and although my endurance has suffered a bit, I’m at least able to find joy in playing an offshoot of a game I really loved as a child. ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, because of Pokemon Go, I’ve been able to take it easy and just enjoy the sights. I even stopped mid run to eat some ice cream. I then resumed my run. LOL.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that being injured as taught me to enjoy my runs in a different way so maybe this race will also be new experience. ๐Ÿ™‚

Wish me luck!