Posted in Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

Beating the Blerch

About a week ago, I beat the Blerch and boy was it glorious. If you haven’t heard of the Blerch, you may be scratching your head wondering “What on earth is she talking about?” Well, according to the Oatmeal’s comics, the Blerch represents all forms of gluttony, apathy, and indifference that plagues one’s life. It also happens to be in the form of a fat little cherub who follows people when they run. If you haven’t read this comic, please do. It’s hilarious.

Patrick Krohn 2019

So anyway, this comic inspired the Oatmeal to create the “Beat the Blerch” 5k, 10k, half, and full marathon. 🙂 It’s been on my bucket list for years and two weekends ago, I crossed it off my list by doing the half. Hooray! Here’s how the race went down.

IMG_8267

The race is in Carnation, WA, about an hour or so away from Seattle. The race started at 9:30 am so my friend and I leisurely made out way out with a half hour to spare. From start to finish, there were so many things that made us smile.

In the waiting area, there was a burritoughnut station where you got a tortilla, a donut, and a lot of toppings (chips and sweets) to put into your burritoughnut. LOL. I had to pass as I did not trust myself to not throw up mid race. 🙂

At the start line, they were volunteers throwing out candy and I kid you not, they opened up a bag of chips and started tossing them out. LOL. After crossing the start line, turmoil ensued. The race announcer had mentioned that rights were our friend and that on the course, we were to turn right. She either failed to mention that the first turn was a left or none of us were listening. I actually think it was possibly the latter. We were a chatty bunch. 🙂

IMG_8259

Soooo, as my friend and I are turning right at the first intersection and running along the path, we see about a hundred runners coming back at us and there was just utter confusion. We tried turning onto a different path onto a bridge that definitely was not meant to support 30 people running on it. And after running a bit, someone said “Hey, umm no one is behind us.” LOL. So we immediately back tracked until we saw a volunteer to set us on the right path. They even told us that if we wanted to restart, we could head to the start and they could reset our timers, but I wasn’t running this for time so we just headed off to catch up with the other runners.

IMG_8260

The course was beautiful – full of nature (trees and things). It was warm, but the trees shaded us and there was a nice consistent breeze. We even saw some chickens along the route. Then, there were the aid stations. Oh the aid stations were the best. Each aid station had a Blerch…chilling on a couch, with cake and nutella sandwiches. Each Blerch we encountered was great. They kept telling us to slow down and to have a nice sit-down. LOL. I couldn’t stop laughing as I passed them.

race_4385_photo_67494096

The finish line also had a Blerch that gave us high fives as we headed in. That Blerch also chased some people in so they had some awesome photos of them beating the Blerch to the finish line. 🙂 OH and the photos were free. What more could I ask for? I got Matthew Inman to sign my ribbon.

If you’ve never run this half before, I highly recommend it. 🙂

IMG_8277

Question for you: Have you ever run for food? LOL. I have. It’s the story of my life. 

 

Advertisements
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. 🙂

IMG_7696

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. 😛 After 30 minutes in the shade, I felt better and even took part in their free massages, which I would highly recommend post-race. 🙂

IMG_7712

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? 

 

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Training

From Grandma’s Marathon to Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Grandma’s 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.

Well, it’s official. I have decided to run the Garry Bjorkulund’s Half Marathon. And as much as it pains me choose the half over the full, I know that this is the right choice. I have been going to PT at least one a week for the past 4 weeks and the pain hasn’t gotten worse, but it also hasn’t gotten significantly better. With only 8 weeks until Grandma’s marathon, I didn’t think it’d be smart to just try and brute force my way through the training cycle and further injure myself.

IMG_5426
Training has been difficult. I’ve only been running up to 15 miles a week the past few weeks.

Despite my disappointment, I am still excited to be able to run the half distance. It starts midway through the full and continues along the full course so I’ll still be able to run along beautiful Lake Superior. Also, since I will not be attempting a PR at this race, I can just enjoy it for all it’s beauty and take lots of pictures. Hooray!

So that’s my update for today. 🙂 Happy Monday!

Posted in Running, Training

Rock N Roll San Diego – Back to my beginnings

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.

That’s right. Come Sunday, June 2nd, I’ll be running the Rock N Roll San Diego half marathon again for the 4th time.

And once again, I chickened out and didn’t opt in for the full. LOL.

One of these days, I’ll get around to running the full. I heard it’s a fun course and being a San Diego native, I feel like it would be a great way to explore 26.2 miles of my city on foot. See things I’ve never noticed before and interact with the community that would wake up early to cheer us on.

Unfortunately, that course is not the easiest. It has a pesky little hill around mile 20 and I tend to hit the wall at mile 20 so no thank you…at least for now. One day though, I will run it and I’m sure I’ll love it. I mean, San Diego is the birthplace for the Rock N Roll series so I just know the full will be twice the fun of the half. 🙂

We’re 6 weeks out, but I know that I will be only running this race for fun. Running for time is out of the question as I’m still very injured. It’s been a struggle to run even 4 miles without stopping so I know I will need to work hard to recover.

Running the course should be a grand ole time though. I’m excited to high five as many people as I can and maybe I can even find a few Power Up signs to hit along the way. I will rock out to the music and hopefully, I can get some great photos of the course.

IMG_5049

I’m pretty happy that my next race is this one. I know I’ve said it time and time again, but the Rock N Roll series just now how to put on a party. Even their Health and Fitness expo is pretty top notch. During my first visit to the expo, I walked around for hours. I visited all of the booths, got free samples, and even rode a mechanical shoe (think bull) that threw me off. LOL. Me being thrown off the shoe was one of my favorite  expo memories. 🙂

IMG_5281
From my first RnR San Diego expo visit 🙂

San Diego is also just a phenomenal city to run through and this race is one of my favorites. The neighborhoods bring their A game every year. Outside of the cheer squads and bands that play along the course, some of the neighbors bring out shots of tequila and whiskey. LOL. I don’t know if I’ll partake in them, but it’s nice to know I have options. 🙂

If you’re running it, let me know and let’s meet up. I love meeting new people, especially if they’re runners.

And if you’re not running it and want to, use code “19RNRBRP16” for $16 off either the half or full or code “19RNRBRP6” for $6 off their 5k or 10k. 🙂 

See you there!

 

 

 

Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

Another Chance To Race in the Rain – Only 4 more days until Surf City

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Surf City 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.

Race weekend is this weekend and wouldn’t you know it, it’s expected to rain again. LOL. Unfortunately, this isn’t a one day rain type of situation. It’s actually expected to rain multiple days so that’s a bit of a bummer, but at least I won’t overheat during the race. Gotta look at the bright side people. 🙂

img_3433

I have no real race goals going into this half since I’m experiencing a bit of plantar fascitis, but since it’s supposed to be raining, maybe my goal should be to not experience hypothermia. LOL. I think that’s a good goal right? To not freeze to death? It took hours to regain feeling in my fingers after the Irvine Half and I don’t really want to repeat that again. 🙂

A goal.  To finish the race without losing feeling in my hands. Hah! Maybe I should invest in some hand warmers too while I’m making this goal. 🙂 My B goal will be that if I do get hypothermia, I will still try to finish the race. Hehe.  Priorities. 🙂

Despite the rain, I’m still looking forward to seeing a bunch of friends from Southern California. I always have a blast meeting up with people and seeing what everyone is up to. If you’re also running the race, let me know. I’ll actually be volunteering at the Honey Stinger Booth on Saturday so if you’re around, drop by.

Oh if you know of any furloughed government employees who also run, let them know that the Surf City race is giving away a limited amount of entries. You can read more about it here. 🙂

So nothing too exciting planned for this race. I do hope my plantar goes away. I’ve been stretching every chance I get hoping it’ll ease the pain. It’s more bearable now so fingers crossed it’ll get resolved soon. 🙂

Question for you: What plans do you have this weekend? Any races coming up? More importantly, have you experience plantar fascitis and are there any really good exercises and stretches to get rid of it? I’m all ears! 

 

Posted in Running

A Great Way to Start 2019 – The Irvine Half Marathon

Every Sunday for the past few months, I wake up to posts of racing photos and every time, I experience major FOMO. LOL. Luckily, I’ve had two races recently so the FOMO has kind of settled down a bit, but if you were to ask how I was doing a few weeks prior, oh man would that have been a different story. LOL.

But what am I going to do after the Honolulu marathon? Well, I’m glad you asked. I am and will most DEFINITELY rest for at least a week. Then, it’s back up and running I go. Why you ask?

Because I have finally decided on my first half of 2019 and drumroll please….

It’s going to be the Irvine Half Marathon!

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Irvine 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.

Here are the details:

Date: Saturday, January 12th, 2019

Time: 8 AM

Location: Irvine, CA

Distances: Half marathon and 5k

Price (until Nov 22nd): Half marathon – $85, 5k – $40

Discount code: BRSCVIP for 10% off

This half used to be called the SoCal Half Marathon and 5k, but after 27 years, it got rebranded to give the city of Irvine a bit more credit for the race. 🙂 The race has a beautiful course that goes through community parks, along the San Diego Creek, and will make you feel like you never want to leave. 🙂

46513936_2174249569515463_8760957127415037952_o
Near the start at Mike Ward Community Park

With registration, you’ll get free admission to the Kona Brewing Finish Line Festival, get a free beer from Kona Brewing, FREE PHOTOS (AGAIN, I LOVE FREE PHOTOS LOL), a technical tee, free pace groups, and obviously a medal when you cross that finish line. 🙂

I’m pretty excited to kick off the new year with a half marathon. I always love starting new years with races. It gives me a sense of accomplishment that I’m caring for my health. 🙂 If you’re looking for a nice, fairly inexpensive half to kick start the new year, I’d recommend this one. Also, it’s in Southern California so you’ll know the weather will be nice and moderate. 🙂

Question for you: Have you signed up for any 2019 races yet? If so, which ones? I’m still looking to plan out the rest of 2019 and need a lot of ideas. 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Race Reports, Running, Training

Running on Tired Legs – The Secret to a Course PR at the RNR Vegas Half

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the RockNRoll Vegas Half 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.

I don’t want to bore you with another Marathon Monday training post so today, I will be forgoing it and just share with you all my Rock N Roll Vegas half experience.

Just know that I have been struggling with keeping up with the mileage as it’s been increasing. My legs have been a bit fatigued with 10+ mile long runs, but I know this fatigue is pretty normal and it’ll better prepare me for the full in a few short weeks. The target this past week was 20 miles during the week with a 20 mile long run totaling 40 miles. I was able to get in 16 miles during the week and a 19.3 mile long run totaling 35.3 miles. I was short 4.7 miles, but considering that *SPOILER ALERT* I beat my course PR on the Rock N Roll Vegas Half, I’ll still call it a win.

And with that, my race report of the Rock N Roll Vegas Half.

Health and Fitness Expo – Rock N Roll expos are large. If you’ve never been to one, be prepared. There a TON of vendors so choose wisely when deciding what to purchase or else you’ll rock around having dropped $100+. Bib pick up was extremely easy. I took a Lyft from the airport and was at the Convention Center in 15 minutes and then picked up my bib with no wait time.

I had a lot of fun talking to vendor reps that I had met at other running events. I’d like to give a shout out to the reps at the Oofos, HoneyStinger, and ProCompression booths for keeping me company as I waited 4 hours for my friend to arrive so I could check into my hotel. LOL.

Race Day (Pre-race) – Preparing for a night race is always tricky. Things to take into consideration:

Meals: Last year, I made the mistake of eating too early (10 am) and by the time I finished the race, I was starving and was grabbing anything the volunteers would give me to stuff my face with. This year, I tried to eat lunch a little later (12:30 pm) and hoped that whatever I ate would digest quick enough and not give me GI distress during the course (like during my Chicago marathon. Sigh). Fortunately, it worked, but I might have also upchucked a LITTLE bit of food during the course so I guess I will need to refine this a bit more. LOL.

Time on your feet: Time on your feet should be minimized for a night race. Knowing that, I still went out and ran 6 miles in the morning because I had a scheduled 20 mile long run for marathon training. LOL. In my defense, I did run much slower and tried to take it as easy as I could. After the run, I went back to the hotel and rested until it was time to get lunch and get to the start line. Even at the start line, I sat down and tried to rest and since I beat my course PR, I’d say it paid off.

IMG_0841
If you must go for a run on the Vegas strip, go at 7:30 am. Very few people are out.

Hydration: Holy moly is Vegas dry. I come from a fairly humid city so being in Vegas completely shriveled me up no matter how much water I drank (and I only drank water; no alcohol was involved). If you are going to run in the desert, drink up. It may be cool, but your body will thank you.

Gear Check: It’s a night race. It’s going to be COLD when you finish. You won’t feel it when you cross the finish line, but give it 10-15 minutes. You will feel it. So packing a jacket is a must.

Race Day (Actual race) – All day, I had been debating whether to race it or treat it like a training run. Since I ran 6 miles in the morning, I was worried that I’d hit a wall at mile 7. So I told myself to take it easy and run by feel. And crazily enough, I actually felt fine. I hadn’t raced a half since June so I was stoked be around other runners and was ready to cross that start line.

IMG_0855
At the start line

As soon as they sent off my corral, I took off. The course itself is fairly flat with a few minor ups and downs and you hardly notice them as the Vegas strip lights are pretty mesmerizing. I had seen them the night before, but running through the strip was another type of experience and you can bet I took it all in. The air was also cool and refreshing as I started to heat up. I hit my groove at mile 4 and at mile 5, I saw some BibRave peeps, which fueled me for another few miles.

IMG_0851
Before heading into our corrals

The bands and DJs that were set up along the course also really helped my energy levels. I would hear a Bruno Mars song and I’d just start dancing, which gave me more energy to run faster. LOL I also really like Bruno Mars. LOL. At mile 12, I was losing momentum. The dry winds combined with the sweat stung my face and I was struggling. Then, I ran into fellow blogger, Jim, and with some encouraging words, we pushed each other towards the finish line. (Hi Jim!!!).

IMG_0860
Immediately after crossing the finish – holy smokes, we’re sweaty

Honestly, I crossed that finish line feeling like a million bucks. I finished strong despite having run a total of 19.3 miles that day AND I beat my course PR. So maybe the secret is constantly running on tired legs?!?!

IMG_0865
My Shiny New Medal

Official time was 1:54:45 and now I’m just waiting impatiently to claim my results on Athlinks. LOL

Honolulu baby, I’m coming for you!

IMG_5605
Catching up with BibRave Founders: Tim and Jessica!

Question for you: Have you ever felt like a million bucks crossing a finish line? If so, which race was it at and why?