Ventura Half Marathon Race Recap

What a great day! I was lucky enough to get a bib from my sister’s friend at the last minute to run the half marathon. We knew a few of our friends would be running but I had no idea just how many of our running friends would be there on Sunday. On our way to the potty we ran into Michelle aka westcoastrunner  and her friend Mary who was running her very first half marathon!! Yippee! I sure wish we had taken a picture together as that was about all we would see of them…maybe next time you’re in Cali or when we are in PDX.
After that I found my sister’s friend and then my sister and got my bib and timing chip and without much time we headed to the start line where we saw our Galloway group, the first running group Robb and I joined back in 2011. It was so lovely to see these ladies as I often reminisce about the great long runs we had as the miles just seemed to fly by when I ran with them. Miss those days! We then found our way into a corral and were the last ones before they pulled the tape for the next corral to go. So I’m running along and then I run into Becky, a friend from high school who i reconnected with a few years back at some local running races. We chatted for a few minutes and then I was on my way. The course was flat and I felt great. Soon enough I hear my name shouted out and it was Michelle!! So nice to hear a Cheer for me!! It didn’t stop there. More and more friends and my sis too shouted out my name as we ran by each other as we had a few out and backs along the course. Saw Vera, our running coach from Galloway too. Just before that I was stopped along the bridge to take a picture and another runner was kind enough to offer to take my picture. So nice of her!! Soon after that I saw my Sole Runners, Stacey and Brian. Another running group we belong too. What a nice surprise to see them. So I’m plugging along and have about a mile and half to go and some of the fastest marathoners are now passing the half marathoners. It kind of got me pumped to finish strong and I did despite some hamstring tightness. I knew I was on PR pace so I kept plugging away just to see how much of a PR I could get. This is where having music for me just makes it all come together. Half a mile to go or so said our friend Rafael, but it was actually less than that for which I was grateful. Again I hear my name called out and it’s Shari from MIM (Moms in Motion) We met last year at Malibu Creek State Park, where I offered to take a group photo at the Mash site. I was nicknamed Ragnar girl (the shirt I was wearing) for a few months till we knew each other’s name ;-) Well the MIM’s were out in full force cheering on their moms and all the runners! It was awesome! I then see hubby and he’s got his camera ready to take my picture as I near the finish line. So nice to see his smile. I cross the finish and he’s already found me and gives me a hug and kiss and says Congrats on the PR babe!! I grabbed a few things to eat and then we waited for my sister and any of our friends who hadn’t finished already to cross. We missed westcoastrunner unfortunately but saw my sister cross. I took a pic but she’d kill me if I posted as it’s not that flattering. Anyway a few more friends came through and finally we said it’s time to get some grub and get ourselves home. I couldn’t have asked for a better day; fun reunions, supportive and cheering friends, a short and sweet tumblr meet up, an awesome sister, pretty decent weather and a wonderful hubby at the finish. I’m a lucky girl. 

All in all the race organizers did a good job. The start area was not too crowded and had lots of porta potties, which is a plus. Corral system seemed to work spreading out the runners at the start. The course itself offered nice views and adequate aid stations. Volunteers were awesome as always and a police force doing their best with traffic control to keep the drivers from getting frustrated and protecting us at the same time. Oh and a great after party at the beach, which we did not stay for but looked like it would be fun to check out. Plus the beach…what more could you want. 

Oh and the stats: PR by 7 minutes :-)

Distance:13.17 miTime:2:22:37Avg Pace:10:50 min/miElevation Gain:58 ftCalories:1,478 C

Running to the Beach - XC Run with nephew Thomas 
Sycamore Canyon- Santa Monica Mountains,  Thousand Oaks, CA

I thought it would be fun to join Thomas on his Saturday XC run to the beach and when my sister offered to pick us up after it became a certainty. I thought this run would go a lot easier than it did because I’ve run this route a few times the past couple of years and it’s pretty much flat. However, the previous 2 days I had some tummy issues. So by Saturday morning I was starving and I decided to have a whole bagel instead of a simple banana and maybe half a bagel before the run. Well I think it was too many carbs and that effects my heart, which is to  say the least not good for running but I thought running would help get the insulin going and get the sugar dispersed throughout my body but no such luck. I just felt like such a drag and to top it off we didn’t take off till 9am so it was already getting warm. I plugged along though and I did manage to catch up with a few of the stragglers of the XC team and even one of the coaches despite adding another mile by going a different route. So yippee for me!!  I was so happy to see the beach. They wouldn’t let the kids cross PCH (Pacific Coast Hwy) which was prudent so I figured I would go under the road and reach the beach that way as well. I immediately took my shoes off and headed down a short trail to the sand, under the road and headed straight for the water. it felt so amazing. I dropped my stuff off at a table and then headed back to the water. I love the beach! It was an amazingly beautiful day. My nephew found me a little but later and then we headed out to get to the road to get picked up. A great run despite it feeling a lot harder than it should have. 

Stats: 9.19 mi 01:56 12:35 pace

I didn’t really have a lot of time to stop and take pictures on our run today as I was trying to keep up. Took me a little longer to warm up. Thanks Mo for the smile for the semi-candid shot. Great turn out of runners and lots of yummy treats to share after.

Heres the Dailymile recap and stats:

Wildwood Box Canyon Loop 6.3 mi 01:22 13:02 pace

Another great run with CVTR and nice to see and run with with some new faces. I was a little slow to start but finished strong. The best part Robb B. made bacon cinnamon rolls that we enjoyed with mimosas after the run. Cool, humid, and foggy glasses.

Jury Duty 3 miler

One of the good things about jury duty is you get a long lunch…so I headed out during the break for a run. I eyed a greenbelt (photo) on the map before I went out but it ended after 1/2 mile so I ran up and down the neighborhood streets before making my way back to the government center to make up the last bit of the 3 miles I wanted to get in and ended my run under the shade of the trees in the second photo above. I then headed to my car and grabbed my salad and had a nice lunch on the lawn. Not a bad day in cool and breezy Ventura despite jury duty.

Stats: Jury Duty 3 Mile Run 3.02 mi 00:32 10:31 pace 

San Francisco Marathon - Day 2 in the City - 2nd Half or 4th Half 

Alright let’s get this post done and this marathon done with already :-) We were already in Golden Gate Park a little bit by the half way mark and continued to wind our way through it. I tried to keep hubby’s spirits up and tried to get us running a little bit. Making a go of it a little bit at a time. We would run for two light posts and then walk and do it again. As time went on though we ended up walking more and more. It was only in the park that I heard the only complaint from hubby and that was when will this park ever end. We really wanted to get out of the park and onto the streets of Haight just so we knew we had made some progress, to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Finally we are on Haight and this is the first time we sense that we could be swept or taken off the course, but we plugged along. We made it to one of the last aid stations that was semi-open and I asked for a map. The streets had started to reopen to traffic and I knew I didn’t have any idea where we would need to go and I was afraid with all the miles and being tired hubby would not either. Luckily one of the volunteers on a bike had a pouch full of “late runner” maps that outlined the last 6 miles of the course for us slow pokes. It was a godsend for sure and I’m so glad I asked. Looking at the map we could have easily taken a few short cuts but we didn’t. In fact we also ended up directing a few of our fellow turtles where to make the next turns. By this time we are done with the hills and are making our way towards the ballpark and towards the Bay Bridge finish area. All along I would make hubby stop and take a picture if only for a few seconds to take his mind off of things. Maybe it was annoying but he never let on:-). Finally we are in the last stretch, back on the embarcadero and we can see that everything is being taken down. This is were I did start to freak out. Would we have a finish line to cross over and would our drop bags still be in the ultra tent? There was a bit of confusion at the end and we got directed away from the timing strip but I made darn sure I was going to have a finish time even if it was the worst one ever. I didn’t care plus I wanted a medal. We find the finish area and cross the mat and then lady entered our bib numbers into some sort of calculator thing and then we got our medals, an extra one for Robb for his ultra. So we were mostly set but from where the finish was and the start we could not see the ultra tent to get our bags. My worst fears were coming about. Hubby even had to beg to be let in to talk to someone about Lost and Found,  as we thought the tent was gone. Little did we realize that the tent was closer to the start line and it was still there. We go in and our bags are in the Lost and Found bin ready to be handed over to race officials. As usual my worst fears never really materialized and we were fine. We finished the race, got our medals and a time and our gear as well. 

Our original intent was to shower and then grab some lunch but hubby just wanted a beer so we headed to the hotel bar and that’s what we did. We also thought a little food might be good too. After that we showered up and took a snooze till dinner. Another long day in the books!!

I’m so proud of hubby’s accomplishment. Determination and taking one step at a time made it happen. I’m also so glad I made the decision to stick with him the whole way even though a couple of times he told me to go ahead. It would have been easy for me to do that and I know he would have finished without me but I also know it would have been even more difficult and it’s hard enough running 52.4 miles. Congrats babe! One step closer to your dreams!!

Photos: Along the course and the last one is the view from the hotel room.  

San Francisco Marathon - Day 2 in the City - First Half or 3/4 Recap

Finally have some time to finish up the San Francisco Marathon(for me)/Ultra (hubby’s) Recap. I take way too many pics so I thought I’ll break it up to share the most. So this is the first half for me and 3rd half for hubby.

After hubby got changed and all squared away at the Ultra tent we entered the corrals and took off down the Embarcadero towards the Golden Gate Bridge. We started off fairly strong considering this would be Robb’s 26th+ mile for the day. We talked to a few people along the Marina and even ran into Rosa and hung out with her here and there for the first half. I stopped to take pictures and told hubby to keep moving. At key points along the race there are picture taking opportunities and everyone is so willing to take your picture in trade for you taking theirs. So while hubby kept moving i had that opportunity. So thanks random runner! I got a little behind and had to punch it to get to the bridge in time to run it with hubby. I made it. It was such a gorgeous morning and the views were breathtaking but the bridge is not the best place to take pictures. We made it to the turn around at Vista Point and I took advantage of it by taking a potty break. A little miscommunication lead me to a slight panic as I couldn’t find hubby after I came out of the restroom. Eventually we made contact and I had some catching up to do. It was actually a nice opportunity for me to plug into my music and run a little harder. I caught up and we finished exiting the bridge and starting making out way towards the Richmond district…aka rolling hill neighborhood. Needless to say by this point we were doing about half running, half walking. We made it through the hilly stretch and entered Golden Gate Park. I was happy to see the timer strip for the first half and for me the it was a boost even though I knew hubby was hurting. I felt nervous about doing another marathon after the few years of doing the LA Marathon since they never quite seemed to go the way I wanted. After Big Sur I gained more confidence in the distance but I think a lot of that had to do with using shorter run/walk intervals. It was definitely less taxing on the body. This time I would be doing what hubby dictated to a certain extent and I was perfectly good with that as it turned out. 

Next up….the never ending Golden Gate Park…..

San Francisco Marathon - Day 2 in the City - Early race morning!

So not much sleep but I got up, took a quick shower, got dressed, filled up the Nathan pack and before I knew it I had no time to start up the Jetboil to cook the oatmeal and hot cocoa I brought so it was a banana only. Then I was off and heading down to find the 52.4 Ultra tent, which was down the road from the Hyatt. I made it to the tent but no hubby in sight yet, so I waited. I then thought maybe I should find something to eat and grabbed half of a bagel. I watched as a few tired ultra souls came through, but still no hubby. By this time a few waves of the marathon had gone by. Finally hubby made his appearance and got checked in and then into the tent to change, grab some food and then head back out. It sure was a beautiful morning for a race as I hope you can tell by the pictures…sorry the last one was blurry. Anyway…l’ll have to stop there for now. I have so many pictures I want to share and tumblr limits me to 10 plus I tend to ramble and this seems short enough for most to read. We also have a big day planned for a trip to Santa Cruz Island tomorrow morning with our trail running group. 

Hope you all had a great Aloha Friday!!

San Francisco Marathon - Day 1 in the City

Hubby and I opted to spend Friday night in Paso Robles on our way up to San Francisco for the marathon so we would have a shorter drive on Saturday morning. So glad we did this. We slept in a bit and then we headed straight to The Creamery for a brunch the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation was holding for those that would be running the 52.4 Ultra.  It was nice to meet the charity organizers as well as the other runners who would be running with hubby. Once done with brunch we headed over to the Expo at Fort Mason to get our bibs, shirts and race goody bags. We grabbed some lunch at a nearby cafe and then headed over to the Hyatt Embarcadero to check-in. So happy they had our room ready as we were both getting a little tired. We tried to rest but no such luck with protests and other big city noises. I think I got a little sleep but not much. Before long we were eating dinner and then back to our room to get a little more shut-eye. We did manage to squeeze in a walk before retuning to our room. The Ferry Building reflection photo is from our walk.

Then it seemed like minutes later hubby was up and getting his gear together and heading to the start line, which was about 10:30pm or so for midnight start. I sent him off with another runner and returned to the room but this time I wasn’t having much luck sleeping. I guess nerves and random sleep cycles just weren’t conducive to a sound sleep. I did manage to get a picture of the Bay Bridge before heading to “sleep”. 

So that about does it for the first day in the city by the bay.  Race Day photos and recap hopefully tomorrow. Time for some rest. 

Power has been sporadic here tonight but I wanted to get a photo up from the SF Marathon and a quick Dailymile post from the hot run I did after work today. Anyway I just love this photo!! Race recap coming soon. 
After work run…Dailymile post:
Hot and Slow in Chesebro Canyon 4.02 mi 00:49 12:16 pace

Decided to get a run in after work but boy oh boy was it hot out. I think it will be lunch runs at the beach in the future. Needless to say it was a slow one. Legs felt good but the heat got to me.

Power has been sporadic here tonight but I wanted to get a photo up from the SF Marathon and a quick Dailymile post from the hot run I did after work today. Anyway I just love this photo!! Race recap coming soon. 

After work run…Dailymile post:

Hot and Slow in Chesebro Canyon 4.02 mi 00:49 12:16 pace

Decided to get a run in after work but boy oh boy was it hot out. I think it will be lunch runs at the beach in the future. Needless to say it was a slow one. Legs felt good but the heat got to me.

The smell of Cheesecake in the air, a dailymile post, and some photos:

Will Run for Cheesecake! mi 00:44 11:06 pace

Nephew was on the trails at Juan Bautista for XC practice, so I decided to hit the roads around the area so as to not crowd the trails with his teammates. I had mapped out a route and planned to do 2 loops of a 2 mile loop. It was fun to explore a semi new area to run. The second loop was the best, I was warmed up, legs felt great and the smell of Cheesecake Factory cheesecake was in the air…literally…the corporate office and I guess bakery are along this route. Smelled so yummy. Came back to the park to cool down and wait for the kiddo. Enjoyed the sunshine and breeze.

Time for bed. Back to the trails tomorrow. I’m going to miss these afternoons when his XC practice moves to mornings for a while. ;-(