Bay Breeze – First Real Race of 2018!

Bay Breeze – First Real Race of 2018!

Hello, and Happy Sunday morning!

I had a post in my drafts for over a week now, explaining about this event, and how much anxiety I had in relation to it. But, I never had the time to finish it – which is probably a good thing, since yesterday’s event turned out to be a good day overall.

It was Race Day!

I haven’t been able to say that for quite some time now! And even more so – it was a Brazen Race Day! I haven’t run a (non-remote) Brazen race since 2016!

I’ve run this particular course many, many times. I’ve run the 5k, 10k, and half distance at one time or another between this race, and the summer version held in August, Summer Breeze. It’s one of very few Brazen Races that is considered “flat and fast.” It also happens to be one of the bigger venues, so it tends to be one of the most croweded races in Brazen’s line up.

Highlights of the day:

I got exceptional parking. I had to wake up at 3:50am in order for this to happen, but it happened – and I was pretty excited about it. With this race usually being sold out, or close to it, the parking in the area tends to fill up quickly. But I was lucky enough to score a spot in the closest parking lot to the start/finish area. This is always great for picking up your bib packet, and any merchandise because you can just walk the short distance back to the car and put everything away. They do offer early bib pick up, but now that I live an hour plus away from almost every race venue, I just pick up on race morning. Plus brazen makes packet pick up incredibly easy.

The weather was amazing! I have a feeling California is gearing up for an absolutely miserable summer…But in the mean time we are having beautiful, sunny, 70 degree days in February. The morning temps were in the low 60s and perfect for race day.

The swag – Brazen is well know for their beautiful medals, soft t-shirts, and of course their post race food spread.

Friends! It’s always great to see your running friends on race day! And today I got to catch up with a few I haven’t seen in a while.

Lowlights:

Because this race tends to be so big in numbers, leaving the start line is pretty crowded, and it takes a long time for it to spread out. Unfortunately people do not follow race etiquette, and walkers/children/and even a stroller or two are at the front of the pack, slowing everyone down.

You can see from the photo above, how far back the starting arch is and how many people are running…Er… walking in this photo, and this was the back of the pack!

This was an out and back course, and sadly I saw at least 4 people turn around before the actual 5k turn around. It was pretty disheartening to see it. Brazen does give age group medals and I feel like this could potentially hurt someone’s chance of getting a medal because someone else cheated. I’m not sure why you’d pay for a race to cheat… but apparently people think it’s totally fine to do. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to see/remember the bib numbers of the people who decided their 5k was much too long. 😐 I do know that some people have had to cut their races short, but reported it to the race directors when they arrived at the finish, but I saw 2 of the 4 who turned early wearing the finisher medal. So it is questionable whether they reported their short comings or not.

The last lowlight is that at the last minute I got overwhelming anxiety about bringing the baby to the race with me, and ended up leaving her with my sister on race morning. I felt guilty doing that, but my anxiety was almost too much to bare. I worried about everything from the long drive in the dark to the race, to where I’d have to park if she was with me, to even just using the restroom with her in tow. Port-a-potties are not stroller friendly. After running the race and seeing how crowded it was, I felt okay about leaving her home. I have several other races coming and I honestly am not sure what I will do, it’s dependent on the course I guess.

It would be a lot easier taking her if I didn’t have to go by myself, but my boyfriend works weekends, so it’s just what I have to do. Thankfully 2 of the races are scheduled on days he’s off, and one of them my sister and nephew will be running too.

Lastly, I’m going to talk about my pace and timing. I’m not sure if I should put it under highlight or lowlight. Per my Garmin my pace was 11:51 (which is different than what the timing chip said, but my Garmin time and chip time are only 10 seconds off. And the Garmin I feel, is more accurate because it averaged each mile rather than the overall time.) When running with the jogging stroller by myself I average about 12:30. That’s running with 5 minutes and walking 1 minutes intervals. Yesterday I chose to run 9 minutes and walk for 1 minute and I didn’t have a stroller to push. I slightly expected my mile time to be better. At the same time, I do not run or train consistently. And those 9 minutes felt so hard! I think I should just be happy I was able to run for 9 minute intervals without dying. Ultimately I’d love to get back to running the entire distance without having to walk any portion, but right now I use the 1 minute to give my injured foot a break from the high pressure pounding of running.

As always I had a great time at the race and am thankful that I had the opportunity to run it. My next one is a remote run, so it will be a little easier to do, but admittedly a whole lot less fun.

Brazen still makes for the best race experience!

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Running for a Cause.

Running for a Cause.

Running has a lot of benefits. It can help you lose weight, or maintain a healthy weight. It can help combat stress, anxiety, or even depression. You might make new friends because of running. Also, you can happily carb load. (Okay that’s a stretch!) But now, running has one more benefit!

Charity!

Yesterday I learned of a free app called Charity Miles, an organization that uses larger companies (ie Johnson and Johnson) to “sponsor” you as you log your miles. They currently have 37 charities that they work with. Every mile you log with their app, turns into donated funds to your selected charity.

I tried it out on a short lunch break run, kicking off my charitable donations with 2.35 miles!

I thought to myself, I’m logging miles all the time, what an awesome way to make them count even more! The app ran at the same time as my other running apps on my phone (rock my run, Fitbit) and there were no issues.

Check them out, and see if there might be a charity that you’d love to log some miles for!

Welcome to 2018!

Welcome to 2018!

Hello!

I am several days late, but happy New Year! I hope you had a great one, and the first 15 days of 2018 have been good to you. My New Years Eve was quiet, which has become the norm for me. Gone are the days of me partying, and drinking obscene amounts of alcohol, ringing in the new year with friends I hardly new, and welcome the morning after with a ridiculous hang over. That all stopped when I, 1.) Stopped hanging out with friends that drank way too much. 2.) Started running. 3.) I am a mom of a 7 month old who refuses to sleep….

I’ve participated in several of Brazen Racing’s New Years Eve, and New Years Day Races over the last 7 years (I can’t believe I’ve run with Brazen for that long!) I either ran the races or volunteered at them to earn race credits. And Every time I did – I was one happy Girl. 2016 was one of the first years in a very long time, that I didn’t kick off the year on the trails with all of my running friends…and it made me sad. But, I was pregnant, and very nauseous because of that – so…I have to cut myself some slack.

But not this year!

On New Years Eve Morning, I got up early and headed out the door for a solo run to complete my remote run for the Brazen New Years Eve race.

It was cold, but it felt good. I did slightly over a 5k and stayed in the 12ish mile pace, which I was super excited to see!

The medal was huge, and the moon glows in the dark! The T-shirt is also extremely comfortable!

On New Year’s Day I had to go for my run in the afternoon. It was slightly warmer than the day before which helped a little, and I kept relatively the same pace as the day before even though, my legs did feel tired.

The remote option worked out well for me this year, seeing as how my daughter is still very young, we had family coming to stay with us, and getting out on the real race trail was just not going to work out. I was also thankful for the remote option when I had to take my daughter to an urgent care appointment on new years day. I certainly would have missed the real race because of this –  but because I was running remotely, I was able to run in the afternoon.

Don’t get me wrong though, I certainly knew how much I was missing out by not being at the actual race! Brazen hosts the best events, and they are so fun to go to! But, my goal for these remote races was to try and ease myself back into the race scene mindset. Also, I needed something to motivate me enough to kick off my new year with a few opening miles.

I love the combo medal that I received, and again the super soft race shirt! I am looking forward to the next race I am signed up for, which is an actual race in February.

2017 was a memorable year for sure. It was one full of blessings, love, changes, learning, and growth. I am looking forward to 2018 to see what it has in store! I have made a few goals which I hope to accomplish before the years end. Running and races are at the top of my list. I really miss it, and I feel like it will help me attain the other goals I have set myself in the long…run (no pun intended!)

I also really want to work on being more positive in my overall outlook on life.

Well, here’s to achieving goals, more smiles – and more miles in 2018!

Running into the New Year

Running into the New Year

Hello, and happy, merry, Christmas Eve!🎄

I hope you’ve gotten all your shopping done, and you’re actually able to sit back, relax, and not stress over anything for the next few days. I’m done with Christmas….shopping. I have a few gifts to wrap but that’s it. My daughter caught a cold, so keeping her comfortable and well has been my main focus for the past week.

As this year comes to a close, I’d like to take a moment to reflect back on it.

It flew by.<<
eel like, just yesterday, I was still pregnant and enjoying all that had to offer, and the next thing I know 2017 is on it's way out the door.

🤷‍♀️

It was a good year. My only complaint is that I didn't run enough. I tried to get back into the swing of things, but I quickly realized as a first time Mom, that I no longer have a "swing of things."

My whole life is just different now, and seemingly very unpredictable- which for someone like me, that's just not good.

Any who- I did a quick calculation and I ran roughly 122.61 miles in 2017. Although I'm thankful I got to run 122.61 miles, I certainly wish it were more.

Remember my last post, I wrote about stressing over the thought of just signing up for races? Well, on a whim I signed up for 3 races with Brazen. Two are the remote option and 1 is an actual race. I ended up choosing the remote races for a few reasons:

1.) I know how cold the races have been the last few years and I didn't want to take my daughter this year because of that. I am glad I didn't too, because of her being sick.

2.) I'm not ready for trails or hills. I no longer live in an area that allows me to run hills every day. Everything is flat around here, so the remote races just felt like a safer option.

3.) I just needed something to help motivate me, because honestly I am not motivated at all otherwise.

I last ran on 12/3, which means it's been a solid 3 weeks since I last worked up a sweat. I tried to run on 12/12, but things happened and I ended up having to walk. My boyfriend and I are off work for the week, so my hope is that I'll be able to get out daily to run. I want to run outside vs. the gym because I think the fresh air , and sunlight will really help me feel better.

I was successful today! Even though I got out much later than I wanted too, I still made it out the door! Nike Run Club has an option to run a "community" 5k on Sunday's and so I did that. I did a 5 minute run to a 1 minute walk ratio, and ultimately ended up running to my sisters house! It worked out, because she picked up some items for me while at the store and I needed to get them anyways. I wasn't prepared to try to run the 3+ miles Home, so thankfully she gave me a ride!

I’ve tried a new shoe recently and I’ve been pretty impressed so far. I was able to run with no foot pain, as well as no lower back pain – which is something I’ve dealt with for a long time due to osteoarthritis in my lumbar spine. I will make another post about that soon! (Hopefully… since I’m terrible at keeping up with my blog 😒) But here’s a sneaky peak! And also a photo of my cat…

Back to the races I have coming up: One of the races is on New Years Eve and the other is New Year’s Day. Even though I haven’t trained at all, I will do my best to complete both with fairly consistent times.

I’ve always believed that what you do on New Year’s Day, is symbolic of what your year will look like. I’ve had many instances in my life where this was true. So, I’m hopeful that by starting my year in my running shoes, it will carry on through to 2019.

The actual race I’m running is in February. I do have reservations about it, but I’m hoping it will all pass once I complete the remote races.

Well, Have a Merry Christmas! 🎄🎁🎄🎁

Race Days and Mom Friends

Race Days and Mom Friends

I think I’ve looked at the Brazen Racing Race website about 50 times in the last 6 months. I’ve run every course. I know which are flat and stroller friendly and which aren’t. And the last 50 times I fill in the registration page and then back out.

I’m too scared to see run the races. Waking up at 4am isn’t easy anymore… seeing as I am up most of the night. I have to bring the baby with me due to my boyfriends work schedule, and I worry about everything from weather, feeding times, potential illness from daycare, and so on. I’m also worried about having to drive at the very least an hour each way for each race. I can’t just get up and go like I used too. They have a remote racing option, but 1) it’s just not the same and 2) I’m not sure I want to pay 44.95 to run anywhere but the trails with Brazen. Long story short… I keep hoping to do races but they seriously just stress me out now. And it sucks.

HopefullyI will get over this fear I’m having a run a few races in 2018.

I also hope that by 2018, I will have a new circle of active Mom friends.

Making friends in your late 30s isn’t easy. I remember making friends in elementary school. It went something like this:

Me: “hey, do you want to be my best friend?”

Them: “yes.”

Me: “yay! Let’s go play!”

I kid you not, I am still best friends with my 2nd grade best friend to this day. Alas, she now lives in Hawaii…and I, across the pacific in California.

Since moving 2 years ago, I feel like I’ve lost contact with most of my friends and family. Although I’m only an hour away, you’d think I’d moved to Canada, because very few are able to hang out these days.

Since becoming a mom I’ve tried to surround myself with other moms of babies my daughters age. Through groups and fitness groups. I have made friends with about 10 people, but we are still in that awkward stage of getting more comfortable with each other. Plus all the moms I’ve met are now starting to return to work.

Returning to work as a new Mom is the hardest thing to do.

So right now, all of us moms are hormonal, emotional, over worked, tired, wrecks. I’m sure it will smooth out in a few weeks… but until then, I’m just sitting here. Waiting for something cool to happen.

Have a great day!

Run Club and Missed Races.

Run Club and Missed Races.

Hello fellow bloggers and readers. I hope you had a very happy Thanksgiving, and enjoyed whatever it is you do on Thanksgiving.

I spent my time trying to go between two families, and sadly could barely eat any of the yummy food. My daughter has a milk protein allergy as well as a soy allergy, so I have had to eliminate anything that contains either of those. Which pretty much means all Thanksgiving food…

Oh well. It made the holiday more about spending time with loved ones, and less about stuffing my face.

Anyway – to update since my last post, which was almost a month ago now…

I mentioned then, that I had joined a Fall Run Club. It was a part of the Fit4Mom group, held on Saturday mornings for 8 weeks. It was a training course for a local 5k that would be held on Thanksgiving Day.

To be honest, I really hesitated on signing up. It cost $109.00 for the 8 weeks and it didn’t even include the race entry fees. I thought to myself, why pay so much money when I can run on my own?

And then I remembered that I have had a hell of a time finding the time and motivation to get my butt out the door for even the smallest run. I figured even though it seemed a little steep, I could consider the 109.00 fee an investment in myself. I felt like the group training would help me meet other moms, which has been a goal of mine since becoming a mom. It would hopefully motivate me to exercise.  I could take my daughter with me, so I didn’t have to worry about that.

So, sign up I did.

I had high hopes.

Of the 8 classes I believe I only made it to 5 of them. My daughter got sick, then I got sick….then my asthma got involved and it was just a big ‘ol mess.

The group run sessions also started at 7am.

7am when you have a 4-5 month old baby is hard to do.

BUT!

On the days I did make it, I loved it.

I loved running, I loved running with other moms, I loved waking up in time to see the sunrise, I loved the cold air, and the sweat, and the miles I completed.

We had weekly homework assignments to do, and I actually loved getting them done. I did all of the homework, and even make up the runs I missed all the way up to 2 weeks ago when I got sick. I haven’t had an asthma flare in a long time, and this one was pretty bad. It also took 3 weeks to get over the cold I had, and that included a 7 day course of antibiotics – which makes running impossible.

When I look back on it, I’d pay 109.00 again because it was well worth it. It was the motivation I needed to get at least 2 runs in per week. I did meet new people, and most importantly – I had fun.

I had signed up for the race, but then had to back out at the last minute because of changes to our Thanksgiving day plans. Thankfully the race offered refunds up to a certain date, so I was able to get my registration fees back.

Today was the first day I have been able to make it outside for a run since 11/7. I was really itching to get outside and go! My sister joined me, and we took it slow. After dealing with asthma for 3+ weeks, I needed to take it slow. With intervals of 30 second run to 3:30 walk, slow was definitely our pace. However, it didn’t even matter…I was so happy just to be outside that I would have done anything! The leaves are changing colors in our neighborhood, and they look beautiful. I got to see another sunrise this morning, that was absolutely beautiful. I got to spend some time with my sister and my daughter – and I got 3.20 miles in!

Everything felt really good, and I am certain I can up my pace for my next run and be okay. I’ve been looking at the Brazen Race calendar again, in hopes that I will be running a race with them soon.

Well, until my next post – wishing you many more miles, and smiles!

Delta Harvest Run

Delta Harvest Run

Do you know, that it has been over a year since I last ran any sort of race? Seems kind of crazy, since it wasn’t too long ago, that I was running almost every single weekend! Prior to this race, the last one I ran was in August of 2016.

I signed up for this race completely on a whim, and very last minute. It was a very small, local race. It wasn’t Brazen Racing, that’s for sure! I signed up as a birthday gift to myself. The race was close enough that I could walk home after it was finished, so I figured it would be easy to get to/from and a good gauge for me since I haven’t run consistently for a while now.

My sister dropped me off near the start line, and I waited for the 5k to line up. There were half, and 10k races running as well – and yet it seemed like there was just no one there. When it was time to line up at the start, I felt like I could count the number of runners on one hand! (There were slightly less that 100 runners, but I am used to race corrals having many, many more runners in them!) Due to the races extremely small attendance, I was kind of afraid that I might actually come in last or something! I am usually a “middle of the pack” runner, but with so few runners, I felt like my slow, untrained self would surely be left in the dust!

I went out really fast of the first mile…I felt a lot of pressure (from myself!) to keep up with the other runners, because I didn’t want to be last. But, alas, my 10:52 pace was much too much for me to be able to maintain, and I ended up having to take a walk break just after the first mile marker. My pace after the first mile was pretty sporadic. I ran/jogged/walked and averaged about 12:27 mile pace the rest of the race.

Running the race was a bit of a reality check for me. My postpartum, untrained body really felt pretty terrible during the race. I ached in places I had never ached before, I felt awkward and uncomfortable the entire time because my form was off. I got frustrated, and a little upset that I felt so discombobulated during the entire length of the race.

Once I finally completed the run, all of that changed though. Crossing a finish line is really great therapy! The race wasn’t my best by a long shot, but it felt great to be in my element again – even running a road race, and not my beloved trail running.

It has inspired me to keep training, so that I could improve my running and hopefully run a better race next time.