Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Big Sur 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!
It is the week of the Big Sur Marathon and I am just full of jitters.
Why am I full of jitters?
The Big Sur Marathon will be my 3rd marathon in an 8 month span. Prior to these 8 months, I would plan for 1 marathon a year. The months of marathon training takes a toll on my body and I need a couple months to recover between each training cycle. Due to all the COVID19 race deferrals, it just happened that Berlin and CIM were 2 months apart and I could not pass up my chance to run Big Sur so here I am questioning my life choices leading up to this. 🙂
With all 3 marathons being so close together, my body hasn’t had time to recover and I’ve been plagued with varying injuries. I’ve been working closely with my physical therapist and he’s been able to get me to finish line of the last 2 marathons and I’m hoping he’ll be able to do it a 3rd time. Proximal hamstring tendinopathy is what I’ve been currently plagued with and it is no joke.
Let’s be real for a moment. The Big Sur course is not easy. It is absolutely GORGEOUS, but, the elevation gain is 2,182 feet and as I’m primarily a road runner, I’m not used to this kind of gain. I have done the 21 miler in the past, but tacking on that additional 5 miles is a little daunting for me.
With all that being said, I am looking forward to going up to Big Sur and tackling this full course. It’s been a few years in the making and I’m so excited to check it off my bucket list. Stay tuned for my race recap next week and wish me luck! 🙂
In my last post, I discussed training for the Big Sur Marathon in April 2022, but let’s rewind a little bit. A lot happened in the latter half of 2021 that I just forgot to blog about so let’s back track a bit.
In June 2021, I raced my first trail race at the Black Mountain 25k and survived with no rattlesnake bites. LOL. This was a huge accomplishment in my book because if you know me personally, you’ll know that I absolutely fear rattlesnakes. I’ve run through trails before and if I hear a sound or any type of rustling, regardless of whether it’s something harmless or dangerous, I will scream and if you’re unfortunately running near me, well sorry friend. LOL. Summer time is prime time rattlesnake season and even before the summer, we’ve rattle snakes have been seen throughout the year so I actually refused to really train on trails without anyone else and with COVID19 running rampant, I trained on road and hoped that it would be enough to finish the 25k.
Initially, I had signed up for the 50k in June 2020, but that race got deferred and I ended up downgrading to the 25k due to lack of trail training and again, my fear of rattlesnakes. I know. I know. If you don’t get near them or agitate them, they won’t go near you, but I’m clumsy AND I don’t pay close attention to the road/trail because I have most definitely almost stepped on a rattlesnake in 2019 and it rattled at me. The experience scarred me for life.
The Black Mountain 25k is not an easy one and after speaking to several people and racing it myself, I definitely did not choose an easy trail race to start with. The terrain itself is rather technical and as someone who didn’t really train on the course, it’s a miracle I didn’t fall flat on my face. Elevation gain was 2785 ft over about 16.3 miles and there were some steep hills.
In the end, I can say that I’m glad I did it. It was the first in person race I did since the lock down and it was really nice to see everyone and since it was a local trail race, the crowds weren’t as large. Also, I didn’t see a single rattlesnake (phew), but I think I did hear one and ran out as quickly as I could.
Would I consider running another trail race again? Absolutely. Will I consider running a trail race where there are signs to watch out for rattlesnakes? Absolutely not. I already have my eye on the Rainshadow Running series, but unfortunately the Sun Mountain race is too close to my other races so I’ll have to consider it for 2023. Thanks Jeannine for the recommendation!
Are there any really cool trail races that you’d recommend? I’d consider a 50k, but I’m more comfortable with the 25k to marathon distance at the moment. 🙂 Please and thank you!
The Craft Classic Half marathon in San Diego occurred this past weekend and I could not be happier by my performance. Here’s how it all went down.
I headed down to San Diego to go to PT (more on that in a later post) and I kid you not, an hour before my PT appointment, I roll my ankle WALKING on the SIDEWALK. Yes, read that again. I ROLL my ankle TWO days before race day while walking on a FLAT sidewalk. I quickly text my PT, let m know what happened, and I came in and he checked my ligaments to make sure nothing was damaged. He ended up massaging my very tight calf, taped me up, and send me on my way. He was confident I could race. I was not. LOL. I legitimately almost cried after rolling my ankle. I’ve been dealing with so many injuries the past year that I thought I wouldn’t be able to race.
Leaving my PT’s office, I hoped for the best and headed off to packet pick up at Road Runner Sports, met up with another Bibrave Pro, and caught up with fellow runners at the store. That night, I end up dunking my ankle in an ice bath and HOLY MOLY, how does anyone do this? I could not keep my ankle in the ice water for more than 5 seconds without screaming.
My ankle was still a bit tender. Walking around felt okay, but I wasn’t sure if I could run and I didn’t want to risk injuring it further by trying to run Saturday so I held off and hoped it’d be okay for race day. Laid out my flatrunner and dropped all of my essential race gear in a bag that night and passed out.
Sunday – Race Day
The race started at 6:30 and this year, we were parking near the start line so I was able to sleep in until 5 am. LOL. I was out the door by 5:30 am. Parking was at a high school and we all walked to the start line. The race was a bit smaller this year, but as we are still in a pandemic, I was pretty happy with how many people came out. The weather was also much better this year than in other years. It was much cooler and had a lot of cloud cover. Runners were released in waves and I headed out with a friend of mine and as soon as I took that first step, I felt stiffness in the front of my ankle. I honestly wasn’t sure if it’d be smart to continue, but when do runners ever listen to reason. I told my friend I’d try to run a bit more and see where it went. Luckily, she doesn’t like to run fast so we took our time and ran together for about 3 miles.
At that point, she and I parted ways and my ankle was feeling a lot better and I decided to continue forward. As I wasn’t chatting with anyone, I was able to pick up my pace and realized that I might make a sub 2 cutoff if I pushed. I’ve run this course 2 other times and both times, I’ve missed the sub 2 cutoff. I have raced a sub 2 before, but it would have been nice to have a sub 2 for this course. In the back of my head though, I was also absolutely fine with missing it because I’d rather finish and not be injured than try and race faster and be injured before my fall marathon. I conservatively ran an 8:30 to 9 min/mile up until mile 10. Most of the course at that point is downhill. (YAY). Then came the king of the hill that crushed my dreams. It’s about a 300 ft elevation gain across maybe a half mile or 3/4 mile and my legs were not having it. I managed a jog/walk up it, but by the time I got to the top, I knew I’d miss the cutoff. Funnily enough, that’s when I felt a weight lift off my shoulder. With that pressure removed, I was able to take more walk breaks and enjoy the last bit of the course. Don’t get me wrong, the course through the back part of the city was pretty with the trees on either side of the course, but the pressure of running faster was always in the back of my head. The last bit of the course is a bit deceiving. Once you reach the top of the biggest hill, you head back down and you turn the corner and there’s one more hill and then you turn the corner again and there’s another hill. LOL. You just silently or not silently curse to yourself as you’re running it. At least, I did.
I had a really strong finish though where I clocked in at about a 7:30 min/mile meaning I could have pushed if I had wanted to. I finished in at 2:03 and some change and didn’t roll my ankle again and it was my 31st half marathon! I also got to see a lot of friends I hadn’t seen in over a year and a half and it felt fantastic. I gave my friend my free beer ticket and they cashed it in for a Green Flash Beer since that’s where the race ended. 🙂 After dawdling a bit, I headed back to the shuttle that took me back to the start line parking lot.
TLDR? I started out with a rolled ankle and finished my 31st half marathon with a time of 2:03.
Have you raced in person since the pandemic started yet? How did it go?
From the title, you can see that I’m exactly one week away from my return to an in person road race and in all honesty, I am a bit nervous about it all. It will be my first in person road race since the pandemic and I haven’t been in such a large crowd in some time. It will definitely be an interesting experience.
I’ve also just been having a few more injuries than I’d like this year. I won’t bore you with the details, but I have Posterior Tibial Tendonitis. The tendon that’s affected is the one on the inner side of the ankle. It also happens to be the same ankle that I’ve rolled over and over again in the past 6 months. Coincidence? Probably not. Since being diagnosed with it a few weeks ago, I have been working with my PT to try and find the root cause and nip it in the bud. After all, (spoiler alert) I am also in full swing of marathon training and I can’t get more injured or else I won’t be able to make it to the starting line.
I have been feeling a bit better about the training though and although my tendon is sometimes angry with me, I think this will be a good race. I’ve been training on a lot on hills (this race has one major hill) and my PT has helped me improve my running form.
We are however, experiencing a bit of a heat wave at the moment, but I do see the weather trending towards being colder in a week so fingers crossed it’ll be colder or at least we’ll have some cloud cover before it gets too warm. Luckily, there are 7 aid stations throughout the half course so all I have to do is make sure I drink water at all of them if it gets too warm. Heh. Wish me luck!
Discount Alert: Also, if you want to plan a last minute trip to San Diego and run this half, you can use the code “BIBRAVE20” for $20 off the half registration. They also do have a 5k if you just want to run much less and still earn a free beer. You can use code “BIBRAVE10” for 10% off the 5k registration.
Disclaimer: I received an annual Strava Subscription and Strava merchandise 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!
Let’s talk about Strava, shall we? 🙂
When I first started seriously running, I wanted a way to track my stats. I’m a metrics kind of girl and I loved seeing how many miles I could put in and seeing if I could push my limits. Seeing the mileage increase from month to month made me happy.
I tried various running apps, but the one that stuck was Strava. I found its interface to be user friendly and the fact that it was a popular app in the running community made it more appealing to me. I know I know. I’m such a victim to FOMO. LOL.
But really though, I am such a fan of Strava.
Not only is it free to sign up, but you can also participate in challenges and this is my favorite part of it. A few years ago when I first started training for my first full marathon, New Balance was having this challenge on Strava. Run a negative split in a marathon, track it in Strava, and get a free pair of New Balance shoes. A dream come true, right? It was my first real Strava challenge and I did end up completing it.
Ever since then, I’ve been hooked. I also really enjoy being part of clubs where you can check your mileage with others and compete with one another. I did this for a while when I was using Hanson’s marathon method and was logging in 40-50 miles a week. Strava fed into my competitiveness. After all, if you didn’t log it, did it really count? LOL. If you want to join the Bibrave club, click here to join.
Strava is just a great way to communicate with the running/swimming/cycling community. Facebook has likes. Strava has kudos. Who doesn’t like validation, right?
Ease of Use
When I first started running, I didn’t have a GPS watch to track my runs. So I took my phone on my runs. I opened the app, hit the record button, and started running. When I finished, I’d hit finish and the run was automatically uploaded. And you can choose to post it publicly or you can keep it private. If you do post it publicly, you can also prevent the app from mapping certain areas for safety reasons.
The Last Mile
Strava’s latest promotion is called The Last Mile and it’s kind of cool. Just by joining the challenge, you’ll get a 30 day free trial of their Summit, which unlocks extra features to help you train. And if you run a half or full and your last mile split is faster than any other mile in the race, they’ll donate $10 to one of the country’s leading youth running charities. Isn’t that cool? Getting a free trial with extra perks and if you work hard enough, you can get them to donate $10 to a youth running charity. 🙂
So that’s Strava in a nutshell. Now my question to you is if you use Strava, what do you like most about it? Also, add me and I’ll add you back! And if you don’t use it, what app do you use if any and why? I’m always on the lookout for cool apps. 🙂
Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Carlsbad 5000 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.
Wheeee! I’m alive. I survived another race and my heel lives to see another day. Hooray!
And without further ado, my race report.
Race weekend was uhmm a bit much. I was moving apartments and with all the heavy lifting, I was exhausted going into race day. Luckily, bib pick up was super easy. I opted to pick up my bib on Friday at Fleet Feet San Diego because it was on my way home and there was a 15% discount on their items, so I decided to also purchase some Superfeet for my inflamed fascia. 🙂
Fast forward to race day and I arrive about an hour before my race and I find sweet street parking a few blocks from the start line. I met up with my male friends who were running the race before (Men’s 39 and under race) and wished them good luck. Then, I stretched out my legs, took my infamous jumping photo, and got ready to run. While stretching, I spotted Meb Keflezighi and was starstruck. LOL. He was at the expo on Saturday signing autographs and since I couldn’t attend, I was pretty bummed. BUT luck was on my side because I saw him and I got a picture with him!
The start of the race went pretty much as expected. I started out too fast and got winded a mile in. LOL. I felt extremely out of shape, but pushed on. My fascia was doing okay and wasn’t overly upset at me and when it did decide to hurt, I walked. I did take my time and I finished in 27:07. 🙂 Not a bad time considering.
The energy of this race is amazing. Probably because it doesn’t start super early. After crossing the finish line, I met up with friends ANDDDDD spotted Meb again and this time, he was signing people’s bibs/medals/ribbons so you know I had to get mine signed. He was so nice and patient taking pictures and signing things for us.
The Carlsbad 5000 will always be one of my favorite races. It’s short, sweet, and over in less than 30 minutes. 🙂 And there’s free beer at the beer garden. I didn’t drink, but my friends did and afterwards, we headed over to Pizza Port for amazing pizza. I had an amazing time and honestly, I can’t wait to do it again next year. 🙂
If you want to sign up for next year’s race, head on over to their site. Pre-sale is currently available until April 14th at 11:59 PM PST. 🙂 It’s the lowest price and if a 5k doesn’t seem worth traveling for, remember, there’s an awesome 20k all day where you run all four 5k heats so you can experience the start line and finish line energy 4 different times. 🙂
Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Carlsbad 5000 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.
When I first started running seriously, I vowed to take it nice and slow. The goals were just to finish and to not get injured. Unfortunately, the longer I ran, the more ambitious I got and of course, the likelihood of me getting injured was higher. More seasoned runners told me to stretch if I wanted to run long term. And as an ignorant younger runner, I thought, nope. I think I’ll be okay. I don’t run that far and that could never happen to me. LOL
So I ignored the signs. I ignored the fact that my calves would always tighten up like crazy when I ran uphills. I was still smashing PRs so I figured, it was fine. I ignored the fact that for weeks, I was literally getting out of bed and limping a little bit because I didn’t want to put my heel down.
So here I am – a runner not able to really run. LOL. I understand why it happened and I am accepting the consequences. I am also determined to not let this beat me so I have gone to see a chiropractor who specializes more in muscle therapy and three sessions in, I’m a bit more hopeful than I was immediately after the Hot Chocolate 15k. It was confirmed that I do have plantar fasciitis. Surprise, surprise, right?
I’ve started swimming a little bit more to give my feet a bit more time to heal. Post Hot Chocolate, I took an entire week off and to be honest, it drove me nuts. The longest I’ve ever gone without a run in the past 5 years was maybe 4 days so instead, I swam. Then this week, I tested the fascia.
With the Carlsbad 5000 coming up this Sunday, I wanted to see if I could run 3 miles. So on Monday, I started off with a slow 1 miler around the block. I felt a bit of pain so I stopped and stretched a bit. I then went another mile. The next morning, I was okay. The pain was still there, but it wasn’t worsening. I skipped Tuesday and on Wednesday, I went out on a 3.5 miler with a run group and was able to run with a little less pain. Hooray!
It’s Friday morning and I’m hopeful that I’m going to recover and I’m hopeful that I can finish the 5k. My time won’t be even close to what I want, but my end goal for the year is to finish my marathon in June so I know this is the right decision. 🙂 And I’ll always have next year to try another PR.
I’m honestly very grateful that the Carlsbad 5000 is my next race. Racing a 5k is no joke and last year, I ran my little legs off and was exhausted by mile 2. LOL This year, I have a legitimate reason to take it easy. I can have a grand ole time in my race group and then cheer on my friends in the “Party people’s race.” And afterwards, I can grab a pizza at Pizza port. Yum!
Anyway, I’m off to stretch some more. If you want to follow me on my race weekend adventures, I’ll be posting on my IG and Twitter feed. 🙂 See you all next week when I post about my race experience.
And BOOM, I finished the Hot Chocolate 15k this past weekend and oh my god, I was in a bit of pain. Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
On Saturday, I did a short 3 mile shake out run in the morning. My heel was still hurting so I picked up OS1st foot brace compression sleeve. It was recommended to me by the running coach so I decided to give it a shot. I then picked up my bib at the expo, got my sweet new jacket that came with registration, and talked to my favorite vendor peeps (Aftershokz, Honeystinger). I then ran a few errands and foam rolled, massaged, and stretched my legs for the rest of the day.
Sunday morning, I woke up early, put on my foot brace compression sleeve, took 2 Advils to alleviate any potential inflammation, and out the door I went. I felt okay at the start of the race, but that quickly changed about 1 mile in the race. For those of you who don’t know, the Hot Chocolate 15k in San Diego is a challenging course. It makes you earn that chocolate and honestly, it’s not terrible if you trained for it…or aren’t injured.
The start of the race begins on a hill and for almost the entire race, it’s rolling hills. And much like the hills, my emotions were also up and down. Due to my heel issues, my legs tried compensating in other ways, resulting in overuse of other muscles. This caused way more pain than I’d like so throughout the entire race, I seriously doubted if I could finish. In retrospect, I pushed myself harder than I should have. Every time I walked, I saw my 17+ min/mile pace and panicked that I wouldn’t have been able to finish. I ended up finishing around a 10:30 min/mile pace so really, I had nothing to worry about.
I saw friends along the course and on two separate occasions, I burst into tears because I was so happy to see people come out and support me. I was mentally and physically in pain and seeing familiar faces made the race more bearable. In short, this wasn’t a great race for me and my heel is actually much more sensitive than it was pre-race. 😦 I am not currently running and I will not be running until I see a PT about the issue. Fingers crossed that it’s not a stress fracture or anything more serious. 🙂
I knew there’d come a time where I’d be injured and it’d be my fault and dun dun DUN, that time is now. I’ve had this pain at the bottom of my heel for several weeks now and honesty, I had been in denial about it for so long. I knew I was getting injured. I mean, getting out of bed first thing in the morning and still having to walk on the ball of your left foot is NOT a good sign. LOL.
So here I am on Friday morning, wondering if I’ll be able to finish the Hot Chocolate 15k on Sunday.
I think that I will. I’ve always been the optimistic type when it comes to running. I’ve been resting most of the week with the exception of a Monday and Wednesday run. And instead of running on Tuesday, I swam. 🙂
I’ve practically been living in my Oofos all day long and I even got an indoor pair since it was still painful to walk around my house barefoot. Yes friends, my heel pain is real. -_- After talking to some people, they think it’s caused by not stretching. Surprise surprise. So for the past two weeks, I’ve been stretching pre-run, post-run, and even on days I don’t run. I’ve been foam rolling and even used those crazy Hypervolts that are $350 a pop. (I didn’t buy the Hypervolt. I borrowed someone’s).
I have a very short shakeout run (maybe 2-3 miles) on Saturday and then I’m off to pick up my bib. Then, it’s more foam rolling and stretching the rest of the day. I am determined to finish even if it means walking a chunk of the course. Do not fret though. If the pain becomes unbearable, I will not be finishing it. I’m going to play it smart…at least as smart as I can. Wish me luck!
Question for you: Have any of you had a DNF or DNS? When did you know it was time to throw in the towel?
Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k 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.
Hello hello again! A week ago, I talked to you about the Carlsbad 5000. Today, I’d like to tell you about the Hot Chocolate 15k/5k race in San Diego, taking place on March, 24th!
This is not a new race to me and it’s honestly probably a race you’ve already heard of since it’s U.S. wide. Some of their information is below.
Distances: 5k and a 15k
Perks: This course honestly has the best bang for your buck. Registration comes with a full-zip jacket with hoodie, a chocolate bar shaped medal for 15k finishers, and a a finisher’s bowl of dark chocolate fondue with marshmallows, rice krispies, bananas, and hot chocolate. What more could you want? Oh right, there are also free race photos!
Aid Stations: In addition to water and electrolytes, they also give out sweets, giving this race their moniker of America’s Sweetest Race.
Course: Both the 5k and 15k courses are not extremely easy. Both courses start on a hill with the 15k having a lot of rolling hills so if you run these races, train on hills. You won’t regret it. I honestly like it because it makes me work for the chocolate at the end and I won’t feel guilty at all after eating it. 🙂
I also reviewed this race last year so you can also read about my review here. If you want to sign up, use code “BRHCSanDiego” for a free arm band. And if San Diego is too far and there’s a closer Hot Chocolate race nearby, check out my race discount page here, which has Hot Chocolate races listed as well as many other races.
If you are running this race, let me know and let’s meet up. 🙂