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.
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!