5k Races, Brazen Racing Streaking, Running, Trail Running

Brazen Racingโ€™s Hellyer 5k!

Good evening Readers, Bloggers, and fellow runners! It’s Friday Eve, and I hope you’re doing well.

As for me, I’ve been busy!

Let’s start with last Sunday, it was race day! And not only that it was the first race I’ve run with the little one in tow!

Let me tell you…I had some serious anxiety leading up to race day. I’ve mentioned it before, but running with the baby brings on a whole new level of prep, planning and running strategy.

Let’s start with packet pickup!

Brazen makes packet pickup super simple, so I usually wait till race morning to get my stuff. But since this race was on a Sunday, it meant that pre-race pick up was on a Saturday. I decided to head over to pick up early since it would mean one less thing to have to worry about the next day. Plus, I kind of wanted to get out of the house. The week prior to the race was filled with rainy days, and I was getting cabin fever! Next up: Race Morning! The night before…we didn’t sleep too well. I was up a few times with the baby which made for a long night. So when my alarm went off at 5am, i accidentally turned it off instead of hitting snooze. ๐Ÿ˜

I woke up at 5:40 in a bit of a panic! I planned to leave for this race later than I normally would, because I didn’t want to sit around in the parking lot forever with the little one. But I didn’t want to leave so late that I’d being rushing to the start line. Thankfully, we got ready quickly enough that I was out the door by 645, which meant I was at the race venue by 8am.

My race didn’t start until 9:10, so I decided to head over to the race directors table so they could finally meet the newest Brazen Baby. They were so excited, and gave her a warm welcome the way only Brazen can! We watched the half start, and the 10k and I thought it was funny because the starts seemed to excite the baby. She giggled, and threw her hands in the air and waived to the runners as they passed by!

Soon enough we were waiting at the back of the line for the 5k start. And before I knew it, we were off! Hellyer tends to be a smaller brazen race it seems, and I think it’s mostly because it’s almost completely paved, and it’s a course that you have to loop several times if you do anything over the 5k distance. I enjoy it though, especially in March because it usually gets rained out, so running on pavement is a teeny bit easier than running in deep trail mud like other locations have. Thankfully this year, there was no rain on race day and the path was relatively dry with a few spots of puddles and some wet leaves.

I think one of the hardest parts during the run, was navigating the crowd. The path is narrow and hosted 2 way traffic, unfortunately people tended to walk in pairs making it difficult to pass without going into the other “lane of traffic” – so to speak. Which meant I was stuck behind slow walkers a lot of the time since I started so far in the back due to having the jogging stroller. I also had to be sure not to run into anyone, because many people would abruptly stop right in front of me – either to walk, or tie a shoe (I know, I know – I was shocked that they didn’t opt to move to the side either! Oh well…)

Hellyer has very small rolling hills. But, where I live and train now, has no hills. So those small rolling hills felt huge, especially when trying to push the stroller up them! It was quite shocking! I was convinced the baby gained 30 extra lbs on each hill.

My goal for the day, was honestly just to make it to the race. I didn’t even want to worry about setting a pace goal or anything. We made it, and my time of 42:21 wasn’t so bad – all things considered. Personally, I felt very tired both physically and mentally so I found that I really had to push myself, which I actually think is a good thing. Running teaches you to persevere!

It was another great Brazen Race!

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5k Races, Brazen Racing Streaking, life, random ramblings, Running, Trail Running, When I'm not running

Badger Cove Fail.

A few months back, after much deliberation and a bit of spontaneity- I signed up for a plethora of Brazen Races. When I signed up, I was super excited, and for a moment I felt like my pre-Mom self.

But it wasn’t long before my new-Mom-anxiety kicked in, and I started to stress over the logistics of each race I signed up for. If I’m being completely honest, I feel like it’s a lot easier to run the races without having to bring the baby. If I’m being more honest- that makes me feel like a big ol’ jerk. But again, when I run the races I’m by myself, if I was running them with friends or family like I used to, I feel like almost all of my anxiety would totally be gone.

Which brings us to today.

St. Patrick’s Day!

Also, Brazen Racing’s Badger Cove Race Day.

The luck of the Irish wasn’t with me this last week, when it came to running this race. The entire week we had rain, which is good for California but not so great for trail running…more specifically trail running with a jogging stroller. I knew that too much rain on that particular course would make pushing a jogging stroller darn near impossible due to the mud and the up hill portions.

I arranged to have my sister watch the baby race morning…and I thought all was well.

Until I went to pick the little one up from daycare on Monday and saw a sign posted that there was HFMD exposure in her classroom. This is one of the reasons I completely hate daycare. I feel like since she started she’s been sick ever since. Anyway, we woke up Tuesday morning with a baby completely covered in red dots. ๐Ÿ˜

I took her to the doctor and he confirmed it was HFMD, and also said it was one of the worst cases he’s seen yet.

Welp. There went my plans to run any races. Since HFMD is super contagious, I didn’t want my sister to watch the baby because I didn’t want my nephew to catch anything.

I felt like, the muddy trails and now this – was enough to email the race directors and tell them I wouldn’t be able to run. Thankfully they agreed to mail my race packet to me, so I could run it remotely. Once again, if you’re missing a Brazen race, you’re seriously missing out. But there wasn’t much I could do.

I think this has been one of the hardest parts of parenthood for me to accept – the inability for me to make plans and to follow through. I’ve become what I feel is super flakey and it drives me bonkers.

But that’s life. Sometimes things are just out of your control, and you have to make the best of it. I have another race lined up for next week. So I’m hopeful it will all pan out and I will be at the start line on race day.

5k Races, Brazen Racing Streaking, life, Other Race Distances, random ramblings, Running, training stories, When I'm not running

The Donโ€™t Wanna Run Run

Happy Thursday fellow runners, bloggers and readers. I hope this day finds you well!

A very common theme throughout my years of writing this blog is: trying to keep my motivation to run, and live a healthy and active lifestyle. Before I got pregnant in 2016, I told myself if I ever did, I’d be the crazy pregnant mom out there running till the very end of my pregnancy. Except the one thing my non-pregnant self didn’t take into account was how sick I would be during my ENTIRE pregnancy. Literally from start to finish, I was sick. It pretty much made getting to the gym impossible. I still tried though, I really did. And I did for as long as I possibly could. But it was in no way consistent. Then I gave birth and my life as a first time mom took over. Again, I imagined spending my days of maternity leave running every morning and being back to super fit in no time!

But what my pre-mom self didn’t take into consideration was the fact that I’d have a baby who had her nights and days completely reversed. And who had a little trouble with weight gain, so we had to try and feed her every 2 hours around the clock. I got no sleep. I was beyond exhausted and had no physical or mental energy to go run or workout. There was a nice little stretch in October where I actually fit in 10 runs that month and I was feeling pretty great about it, but then my daughter started daycare… and has consistently been ill with coughs, colds, and flus since. I can’t wait for this cold and flu season to be done!

Since October, my motivation has dwindled. I’ve gotten in a few runs each month, and I feel great about them each time – but my new mommy fatigue usually trumps those great run feelings. I’m often just too tired to get up any earlier or stay up any later to run.

It’s been about 10 days since my last run. Every day I tell myself I’m gonna go, and then the world conspires against me and I just am not able to get out there. Today I had a laundry list of stuff to do (including actual laundry ๐Ÿ˜) and it was either start my list during my lunch hour or ignore all of it, and try to fit a run in. I didn’t want to go really. But in the end, I got myself out the door. It took me almost 20 minutes just to prepare for my run. That felt excessively long. Due to my time limit I only ran a little over 2 miles, during which I used the Nike Running Apps guided run called “don’t wanna run run.” It’s a 25 minute guided run by Coach Bennett. He basically guides you through the run and the reasons why you didn’t want to run in the first place. Honestly it felt a little like a therapy session using guided/moving meditation. And it was actually exactly what I needed.

98% of the time I’m my own coach, motivator, encourager and so on. So to hear some encouraging words from another voice, even though it was an app – was actually super appreciated and helpful.

As for the run itself….

It sucked.

I can’t sugar coat it. I haven’t trained consistently and I feel like I’m starting from square one again. But that’s okay. It’s better to keep starting over then to just give up completely.

One line that really stuck with me was this: “You’re not forcing yourself to run, you’re inspiring yourself.”

5k Races, Brazen Racing Streaking, life, Running, Trail Running, training stories

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. ๐Ÿ˜ 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!

5k Races, Running, Trail Running, training stories

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!

5k Races, Brazen Racing Streaking, Group Runs, life, Running, Trail Running, training stories, When I'm not running

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 –ย  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

Running into the New Year

Hello, and happy, merry, Christmas Eve!๐ŸŽ„

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.

๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

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 ๐Ÿ˜’) 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! ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ