Archive for the ‘Races’ Category

This post is a combination of my entrance into the world of minimalist running shoes …. and my new 5K PR!

I am going to back up a couple of weeks and first talk about my transition from the comfort and safety of my stabilizer Aasic shoes and orthodics to my new New Balance minimus zero.   I recently found out the Crossfit gym I go to has a running class/clinic each week for distance runners.  How neat! It sounded like something I needed and was excited to get some real running coaching – something I had not had since my one year of cross-country in high school.  At the very first session I attended, we all got recorded running about 200 meters and then watched ourselves to talked about our running form and technique (or lack of it in my case).   After watching my tape I was told right away I needed to ditch my shoes and my orthodics as soon as yesterday.  Um, excuse me?  I’m sorry.  I have been wearing these types of running shoes and orthodics for EIGHT years, ever since my cross-country coach told me the source of the pain I had during my first few weeks of running was from flat feet.  I got professionally fitted for orthodics and had been running (mostly) pain-free since then.  So when I was told that I would NOT be running with them by someone I had been working with for oh 20 minutes, I came up with a list of excuses why I had to keep wearing them.

I was then instructed to take off my shoes and run barefoot the same way I would run with my shoes on.  Here’s how that went:

“How did that feel?”

Me: “It hurts.”

“You know why?  Because you are striking with your heel every time you put your foot down.  But you had no sensation of that for the past ten years or running because your orthodics and ridiculously supported shoes have been masking that.  And that is why you probably got injured during your half and why you aren’t running as fast as you can and that is why you will no longer be wearing them.”

Fine.  I guess I will listen to you. (The stubbornness in me was not happy about being overruled).  I dragged my feet for a couple more days before I reluctantly went out and brought my first pair of minimus running shoes.  I took them out for a ten minute trial run when I got home.  My calves and shins were screaming at me.  But my feet felt light and I could actually feel the sensation of my foot strike.  Then just for kicks I put my old shoes and orthodics on and ran the same route.  I felt like I had weights on my feet.  I decided I would keep the minimalist shoes and try to start to like them!

This past week I have slowly been breaking them in, mainly using them while walking my dog or for crossfit.  They definitely hurt way less now when I walk so I am gradually going to start building up some running time in them.  I am still skeptical whether or not they will carry me through a half marathon or not, but I guess we will see.

My big dilemma with these new shoes was what I was going to wear during my 5K this weekend.  After some thought and talking it out, it was decided I should go with the old shoes as I am still weaning my way in with the new ones.  I was supposed to 5K with my old shoes and no orthodics, but I chickened out and put them in anyways to go back to my safe place.  I am weak.

The 5K I did this weekend was the City of Encinitas 5K.  It was a weekend long event with the 5K happening on Saturday and a triathlon scheduled for Sunday.

I picked up my race packet and number the day of with no trouble.  There was a small expo set up that had a combination of running and triathlon gear.  The 5K had a decent turnout, about 1100 runners in all.  The course was around the streets of Encinitas, nothing too scenic, with a couple of rolling hills here and there.

I had this  idea that I would try to beat my 5K PR from last month of 25:40. My goal was to get somewhere in the 24:00 minute range.  I kind of thought I was crazy because last month I had an awesome support group and this race I was doing for kicks and by myself.  But whatever, I figured I would go for it anyways.

Mile 1 Pace: 8:10

I tried to start closer to the front of the group instead of in the back because I am realizing that is where I lose a bunch of time weaving in and out of people.  I think I still need to push it up a little bit because I was still getting stuck behind strollers and joggers during the first .25 miles.  At least this helps me keep my pace somewhat under control.  I have so much nervous energy at the start that I just want to take off!

Mile 2: 8:08

I tried to really focus on my running form here, especially not striking with my heel since I had my moon boots of sneakers on.  I felt myself reverting to my old habits so easily, but then again, for the past 10 years that was how my body was used to running.  Old habits die-hard.  I know I have lots to work on!

Mile 3: 8:13

The last mile is such a mental game for me!  In a half, I just take off in the last mile.  In the 5K, I feel like I want to die.  My goal was to keep it under an 8:30 pace in hopes I would make my goal.  I could feel legs want to slow down, but once my watch read 20:00 I told myself just four more minutes and I would all be done. Well it was the longest four minutes I had felt in a long time but I finished with a final time of 24:50!! (Garmin time, and chip time was 24:47).  The course was just a tad short (I think about 0.05 mile short, but I would have a PR’ed even if I had to run the extra 10 seconds!)

I was so happy I actually broke that 25:00 barrier!  I now have my goals set on getting around the 22-23:00 minute group.  With yoga teacher training coming to an end, I will be shifting my focus back to running and training properly and I can’t wait to see what happens!



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On Saturday April 7th I ran the ACT! for military families 5K/10K to benefit families with children with autism.  The race was held around Fiesta Island in Mission Bay.

I am calling this is the 10K that wasn’t because the distance my garmin recorded was only 5.84 miles…… Yeah. Not cool.

I stayed home sick from work the day before with a nasty head cold.  I debated staying home to rest instead of running this event, but it was a gorgeous Saturday morning and I figured the sunshine would cure me.

The race began at 7:30AM and packet pickup was held before hand.  There was plenty of parking at the event, it just involved running a mile to get to the start line.  Easy way to warm up, right?  I was able to get my race number and timing chip easily and waited around for about 10 minutes before all the 10K runners were called to the starting line at about 7:20.  A race that tries to start on time – I was already liking this.

There were probably about 200 or so 10K runners.  We all gathered at the start line, and then some weird warm up happened.  There were also a couple speakers thanking everyone for coming out to support the cause.  All the runners finally took off about 7:40.

I was still coming off my PR high from last week and was excited to see what this race would bring.  However, since I was also under the weather, I was not expecting anything earth shattering.

Mile One  8:23 pace

I felt great at the start of the race.  I think I felt myself going out too fast ( I was running under 8:00) so I tried to slow it down.  I had to keep reminding myself this was a 10K, not a 5K, and needed to pace myself.  The first mile marker matched my Garmin and I finished right around 8:20, and I was happy with that.  I felt good but not like I pushed it too much.

Mile Two 8:42 pace

I was still feeling good, but was very confused when we passed mile marker number 2 and my Garmin said we were only at 1.66 miles.  That’s more than a little bit off. I hoped it was just a one time mistake.  Half way through mile 2 my body reminded me that I was still sick.  My lungs were getting tight and my nose would not stop running.  I knew I had to slow it down so I could actually finish the race.

Mile Three 9:28 pace

Yes, I slowed it down a bunch.  I figured I could give myself a break and pick it up for the last half of the race.  It was frustrating seeing runners that I was way ahead begin to pass me, but I had to keep reminding myself that my body was not at 100% .  Alot of this race was a mental mind game for me.

Mile Four 8:58 pace 

I was able to pick it up a little bit for this mile. I really was trying to focus on my breathing like this girl and this girl taught me to do last week, but when you can’t breath in and out of your nose, its a little bit hard.  And since I was mainly mouth breathing for about an hour my lips and mouth were sooo dry, it was gross.  There was a water station halfway through the course but it did little to help me.

Mile Five 10:02 pace

And this is the point where I almost died.  Not only could I not breathe correctly, I was having awful pain in my right inside ankle and through my right side body.  I usually am able to get rid of side pains when I run through deep breathing, but as you know, I could not breath period because of my cold.  I am blaming the ankle pain on needing new sneakers about three races ago.  It’s now on the top of my to do list.  During this mile I was yelling at myself for getting out of bed, thinking rest would have been a better option.  I couldn’t tell if I was more upset because my whole body hurt or because my pace royally sucked.

Mile “6” 9:22 pace 

I tried to power through at the end, and I at least kept it under a 10:00 mile pace.  I was annoyed when I crossed the finished line at the distance really was only 5.8 miles.  The mile markers were off the whole time.  My Garmin time for those 5.8 miles was 53:26.  My PR for the 10K had been around 57:00, so I like to think that I still would have PR’ed if the race distance was correct.  I finished annoyed and feeling like crap in general, so I really didn’t care at that point.

There were a decent amount of vendors set up for the after race portion.  We got bottles of gatorade, cliff bars, oranges, bananas, muffins, and bread.  Not too shabby for a smaller type of event.

Even though my race time was less than spectacular, I decided to look on the event website to see how I placed.  I got really confused because apparantly there was a 10K race, and then a modified 10K race. What the heck is a modified 10K?  Wasn’t running only 5.8 miles a modified 10k?  I don’t know.  I guess I ran the actual 10K race because my results were listed underneath there.  According to Gemini timing, my official time was 52:51.  I came in 2nd in my age group, 14th overall and 8th female.  Um, what?  I guess the hundreds of people who passed me were only doing the modified 10K.  I’m so confused.

The rest of the day after the race was over was great – I spent the rest of the morning paddle boarding and doing outside yoga in the sunshine. My cold got worst, but with the warm sunshine, it didn’t matter.

Looking forward to another 5K this weekend!  Let’s hope my body cooperates.

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So you should really just read this pretty lady’s blog post because not only is it the sweetest thing ever written, it sums up pretty much everything I felt after I finished!

The Carlsbad 5000 is a huge 5K race event that is held the first weekend in April each year.  The race is divided into five divisions starting at 7AM and finishing at 1130 AM.  There is also the option for runners to participate in the All Day 25K, running all five races for a total of 15 miles and some change.  The course takes place in downtown Carlsbad, loops around the ocean, and back into downtown.

It is advertised as the “World’s Fastest 5K,” as a lot of records are broken on this course.  There is a men and women’s elite race held at the very end which is incredible to watch! (And takes all of about 15 minutes.  These athlete’s were incredible)

I ran this 5K last year in about 29:00 minutes.  I remember finishing the first mile in 9:06 last year and being elated because that was the fastest split I had done in a long time.  I was definitely looking forward to doing this event again this year because 1.) I knew it was a fast and relatively flat course 2.) I could sleep in somewhat (after a long week at work this was a huge plus this year!)

The race had an expo held all day Saturday through all the races Sunday.  I opted to pick up by bib, tee shirt, and bag the morning of the race since I was not racing until 1130.  The only thing with these late start races is figuring out what to eat beforehand so I don’t pass out from starvation or puke from eating too much.  I decided on a bowl of oatmeal and my tummy was very happy with that (thank goodness, because I never know).

I knew that this girl would be running the All Day 25K and we made plans earlier in the week to meet up for the 1130 race since we had missed each other the week before.  She had asked me if a) wanted to try to get a top 250 finisher’s medal and b) if I wanted to run with her.  I literally thought she had tweeted this to the wrong person! First of all, I had no idea that they even had medals because I did not get one last year (obviously), and the idea of running with a super speed-star like her seemed impossible to me!

I met up with Nicole and Chacha about 4 minutes before the 1130 wave started.  How Nicole was standing (let alone running) in her 5th race of the morning after absolutely killing it in the first four was beyond me!  But her energy was awesome and both girls were so excited to run with me that it was great.  Chacha asked me what my goal pace was for this 5K.  I blurted out somewhere between 8 and 9 minute miles because that is what I had been averaging the last two races, but in all honesty, that was the first time I even thought about it.  Much of my exercise lately has been yoga and crossfit, with just running in races on the weekend.  I do enjoy going into a race with no expectations though, since I usually end up surprising myself in the end!

Running Love at First Sight

I told my running buddies that they didn’t have to stay with me and they could take off whenever they wanted too.  But being their awesome selves, they paced with me (or more like paced me) the whole time.  It was like I magically gained two amazing running coaches after 5 mintues of meeting each other.  They were determined to help me beat my time from last year.  And by beat I mean completely stomp on it.

This was the first time in about 5 months that I had run a 5K so I was not completely sure how I would pace myself.  I started off a little conservatively pacing around a 9:30 mile, but at the end of mile 1 I looked at my Garmin and saw we were running around a 7:54 pace.  Um, what? Hold the phone.  The last time I saw those numbers on my garmin was in my dreams.  Seriously.  And the craziest part was I was feeling really good too.  (Well for the first 1.5 miles or so).  Nicole and Chacha were in full on coach mode especially after we reached the half way point and they could by my breathing that I was about to die.  They told me how I should slow my breathing down by breathing in through my nose, out through my mouth, and breathing through the belly (much like I am learning to teach in yoga so I could totally relate!)  I remember last year hitting the wall just after Mile 2, and sure enough same thing happened this year.  I think at one point I actually said “Okay I think I am going to die now.” The response I got was “If you are going to die, you might as well run faster.” Truth.


I hit mile 2 at about 16 and a half minutes. I knew even if I slowed it down to a 9-10 min mile pace I would PR.  But my running coaches weren’t about to settle for that.  They were great at keeping things in perspective – reminding me that I was almost done and counting down landmarks for me.  I usually don’t run with music on these short races, but cranking up some power songs at the end is what got me through.  I looked at my Garmin at the 2.75 mark and saw it was just after 24:00 minutes.  My goal at that point was to make it in the 26:00 minute range, but I somehow got an extra burst of craziness right at the end and came in at 25:40 .. HOLLA!!! Four minute PR with a pace of 6:57 at the end.  Surreal much?  Yes, I think so.  And getting a top 250 finisher’s medal was just icing on the cake.

My pride and joy!

Medals are my new favorite.

None of this would have been possible without Nicole and Chacha.  Seriously! It is amazing when you have other’s believe in you what you can do.  It just empowers you and makes you not want to give up and keep pushing.  And did I mention we had only known each other for a grand total of oh about 26 minutes?  That’s true run love right there. Major xoxo’s!!

All smile at the end!

With my favorite cheerleader!

Here were my final splits:

Mile 1: 8:13

Mile 2: 8:05

Mile 3: 8:26

Total Time: 25:40, average pace 8:12.

I’m pretty sure this is one race I won’t ever forget!

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Yesterday I ran my first 15K race – the Hot Chocolate 5K/15K in downtown San Diego.

Like many others out there, I had read the race reviews of this same race that was held in DC and what a fiasco it was-  the 45 minute late start time, the crowded streets, the lack of water stations/availability – so I was a little bit skeptical when I decided to sign up.

However, I am happy to say that I feel like this race went flawlessly!  From the packet pick up to the post race party, I thought it was great.

The race expo was held at Road Runner Sports over three days. Having three different options of when I could pick up my bib (plus two different locations) was great – it meant practically no waiting at all.  I went to pick up my packet Friday afternoon and I was done within five minutes.  All runners in this event received a racing jacket which was available for pick up at the expo too.  RAM racing also had a variety of merchandise set up at the expo (think lots of “will run for chocolate” logos, along with free samples of hot chocolate! Yummy – if only it was chilly out that day!

The race was held in downtown San Diego, and sold out at 7500 runners.  I am not sure what the break down was for the 5K versus the 15K, but it seemed as though the majority of the runners did the 15K.  The 5k started super early (6:45AM!) which I saw on the event’s facebook page was to avoid the heat in the event the weather hit 80 degrees (that would have been nice – it was not anywhere near that yesterday!).  Most events I have done the 5K starts after the longer distance, but, you know, minor details 🙂 .

I woke up at 6AM to get ready.  I was being super lazy night before and stuffed full of Thai food and gelato (choices I immediately regretted when I woke up) and decided to wait to get all my things  together the morning of the race.  That is not my usual preference, but luckily I gave myself enough time and was out the door by 6:30 AM for a 7:15 start time.  The best part about this race was that some of my close friends from work were running it also, and we all met up at the gear check about 15 minutes before the start.  I did not check any gear this time, but it seemed like an efficient and organized system for those who did.  The wait for the bathrooms was about 0.5 seconds in racing world time, which was nice too. The weather forecast was calling for rain (of course) but the weather ended up being perfect – sunny and about 50ish degrees at the start line.  I wore shorts, a tee shirt, compression socks and arm warmers.  It was a little cold waiting around at the start, but it was bearable, and I never got too hot during the race (which is something I hate).

My friends and I got into our corrals about five minutes before the race started (I think there were corrals A through E) and the race began right at 7:15.  There was about a minute delay before we took off from Corral B.  I noticed immediately that while there was a large number of runner, it never felt cramped or crowded at any point on the course.  The event’s facebook page the size may increase next year, but honestly if it remained how it was yesterday, it would be a perfect.

Corral B ready to rock!

The course itself was hard and hilly.  I swear the race director successfully found every hill around the downtown SD area and incorporated it into the course.  The one I hated the most was at mile 7 – I kept looking up and could see the hill continuing to go on and on.  Luckily there were plenty of downhill parts to complement it, including the last mile and half or so.  There were ample aid stations, I believe and total of four, and all were equipped with plenty of water and gatorade.

Hills, Hills, Hills

I ran the whole race with my friend Jackie and it made the time ,and miles, fly by.  We talked about 75% of the time and before I knew it, we were done! Seriously, running with friends is the way to go – I loved every second of it.

After crossing the finish line I was given a bottle of water, and additional cups of gatorade were available.  I then went into what I call the chocolate tent and got a box with apple slices, half a banana, a pretzel, marshmellow, rice krispie treat, chocolate fondue, and a small hot chocolate.  I’m not going to lie – it was heavenly.  It was like a mini version of the Melting Pot dessert sampler.  A nice change from the usual orange slices and protein bars I am used to getting after a race!

Post Race Deliciousness

I will admit that I was very nervous about this race.  The last time I had run over six miles was back in January, and there are absolutely no hills in my neighborhood where I run.  While the hills and the course itself was definitely challenging, I felt strong and good throughout the majority of them (the small one at mile 8.5 kinda sucked). I once again will contribute this to my crossfit and yoga training. I am SO happy I am finding ways to train my body that is responds to and the I am seeing resutls. My hamstrings and quads were burning during the last mile and my left hip is a bit sore now, but overall I have no complaints ( I did book it to yoga immediately after the race so I am sure that helped!)  Jackie and I had a goal to finish it 1:30 minutes, and our official time was 1:29:37, average pace of 9:37 ( I am super happy about that, especially considering all the hills!)  My garmin was a bit messed up (I forgot to hit stop and it kept recording through the drive home!) but here it was I think my splits came out to be:

Mile 1: 11:19

Mile 2: 9:58

Mile 3: 9:47

Mile 4: 9:52

Mile 5: 9:27

Mile 6: 9:28

Mile 7: 9:30

Mile 8: 9:33

Mile 9: 8:47

Overall, I really enjoyed this race.  It was a large racing field (seemed like mostly women but this whole race is about chocolate so what do you expect) with a challenging course that left you with a good sense of accomplishment at the end.  Everything  seemed to go off without a hitch.  I will be interested to see what others say about it, but I think I would for sure definitely do it again next year!

Next weekend is Carlsbad – looking forward to super flat, speedy, and short course!

Hot Chocolate 15K

Distance: 9.3 miles

Total Time: 1:29:37

Average Pace: 9:37

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Ok so obviously I love running or there would be no way I would be blogging about it or spending most of my paycheck signing up for races.  What I do not love is rain- especially cold, windy, rain.  Ask me to run in that type of weather and I will laugh in your face.  No matter how much I love running, having to do so in those type of conditions makes me miserable, and I am not about to waste my precious time off being unhappy.   Luckily, living where I do, rain is hard to come by, but has conveniently shown up in the forecast for the past three races I have done.  Read my Santa Barbara Half recap or my Coronado 10K recap and you will see that sure enough, both times I talked about the impending yucky weather threatening to doom my race day.  So I was hardly surprised when the forecast for this weekend was three days straight of rain, including the day of this 10K.  I debated almost all weekend whether I was going to even bother doing this race because the storm conditions were so bad (hail, pounding rain, palms trees and telephone poles falling over – you get the picture).  This was a smaller race and pretty close by so I decided I would just play it by ear and see how I felt Sunday morning.

This 5K/10K race was held in Del Mar and was sponsored by Girls on the Go.  I think this organization is a running group that hosts several races a year, and includes a big girly expo to go with it.  Race packet pick up was held the day before at Road Runner Sports, and it was somewhat of a mess.  I arrived around 4pm (the packet pick up was from 2-6pm) and had to wait in a line for about 20 minutes to get my race packet.  There were 4 people in tiny room handing out bib numbers and bags.  I saw via Facebook and twitter there were a lot of complaints about  the wait to pick up bibs.  The organization said it was because of the large numbers of runners for this event (about 1,000), but wouldn’t they know this based on the registration and plan for it a little bit better?  The actual expo wasn’t even held anywhere close to where the packet pick up was so unless you wanted to stick around after the race the next day you really wouldn’t get to experience the expo.  Maybe in the future  the packet pickup can be at the entrance to expo so runners can then just continue to wonder around the expo immediately after they get their racing packet.  Anyways, I got my bib, a bag with like 5 coupons in it, and a cotton tee-shirt.  There were technical shirts there, but I could not tell if they were for sale  or what was going on.  Oh well, I can always use more white cotton shirts to wear under my scrubs at work.  The most perplexing thing about this whole race was that the racing chips weren’t even given out at the packet pick up – we had to wait and get them the morning of the race.  I didn’t realize this until I setting my gear out the night before (I assumed the chip was in the bag).  Had I known this, I would have just picked everything up the morning of the race.  There were a lot of complaints about this too, and I guess the reasoning is that race organizers get charged if the chips aren’t turned back in, and they were concerned a lot of runners would not show up on race day because of the weather, and they didn’t want to then lose a bunch of race chips and get charged for it.  Whatever, there is always room for improvement.

So on to race day .. the 10K was slated to start at 7:30AM, and the 5K at 7:45.  I woke up about 6:10, bundled all up, ate a lara bar, and headed up to Del Mar at about 6:30.  I still was unsure the whole ride up if I was still going to run or not. The rain had stopped at my house, but I almost fell over as soon as I stepped out of my house due to the wind.  The pouring down rain the entire drive up was not helping the cause either.  I arrived at Del Mar Fairgrounds (the starting point) around 7:10 and the rain had actually stopped, but the wind was relentless.  I decided just to suck it up because 1.) it wasn’t raining and 2.) I wasn’t about to miss my third race this year I signed up for.  I went and picked up my racing chip, spent about 10 minutes figuring out how to tie it to my shoe, and then went to the starting line about 5 minutes before the start.  There was probably only about 100 people doing the 10K and we all sort of just wandered over to the start line together.  After waiting around for like 15 minutes in gale force freezing winds, the race started.

Blue skies but oh so windy!

The 10K course was a two loop course.  We basically did the 5k course twice.  The course took us around the perimeter of the fairgrounds, around the race track, and back in the fairgrounds parking lot.  Not the most scenic course, but it was something different from my usual running loop so I did not mind.  The first half mile the wind was coming at us sideways and trying to blow us into oncoming traffic.  Mile 1-2 was up a steady hill that had us going against the wind, and mile 2-3 was downhill around the race track (I liked that part).  And then all of that repeated.  It was actually a fast course despite the two loop ordeal.  Once again, I was glad I had my garmin since  there were no mile markers.  I saw one water station around 2 (and 4) mile mark but I had my handheld bottle so I did not take advantage of it.  Since it was such a small race (I wonder how many people did not show up because of the weather) there were no issues with crowding at any point in the course which was nice.

I, however, was basically a hot mess during the whole race. I barely got my garmin working on time at the starting line.  I started with my hood on my running jacket up, but took it down after about a mile, and then ran 5 miles with my bangs all in my eyes because I forgot to pin them back.  My allergies were going crazy this morning so the whole first 3 mile I was convinced I was going to have an asthma attack.  I was wheezing so hard even though I took my inhaler right before I left. Luckily, that resolved by the second lap.  I ran with music since I was doing this race solo, and my headphones kept falling out of my ears.  My fingers were so numb from the cold I had a hard time getting them back in especially with my hair flying around everywhere.  Oh, and my nose wouldn’t stop running either.  What a lovely image of myself, huh?  At the finish line we got a bottle of water, our medal, and some wine.  I’m sure there was free food samples/snacks inside the expo that was going on once the race finished, but I didn’t stick around for that.

My reward for not blowing away into the ocean.

Despite all those little annoyances, I still finished technically with a PR.  I say technically because looking back at my 10K from last month, that distance was actually 6.25 miles, and today was 6.18.  So I feel I finished around the same pace. However, today I was battling hills and major wind, and last month’s course was all flat and no wind. So I wonder what my time would have been if  those factors were eliminated.  If you look at my weekly workout recaps from the last month, you will notice that there are not a lot of runs in there.  I have been focusing on crossfit and yoga, with maybe only one longer-ish type run once a week.  What this is telling me is that I am still able to maintain a good running base and pace (if not faster) from doing my cross training, and I am super happy about that.  I feel that this method overall better for my body type, and I can feel myself getting stronger from doing less running and more strength building. With lots of races the next few weeks, we will see how things shape out.

Overall, I am glad I decided to battle the windy elements and do this race.  The organization itself has some kinks to work out for next time, but for a smaller scale race I think they did a great job and it was fun one to participate in.  Time to gear up for my first 15K next weekend!


Mile One: 9:07

Mile 2: 9:36

Mile 3: 9:19

Mile 4: 9:30

Mile 5: 9:51

Mile 6: 8:59

0.18 Nubbin: 8:03

Total Time: 57:50

Average Pace: 9:22 min/mil

Distance: 6.18 miles

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Finally!  After two failed half marathon attempts,  I was able to actually run a race I signed up for this year!  This was my first time doing a 10K distance.  Since I had actually been training for a half marathon, and then got sick and basically only ran 3 miles in the past two and a half weeks, I honestly had no idea how today was going to shape out.

This was the second year for the Coronado Valentine’s Day 10K.  It definitely is a smaller, hometown type race, with about 2,000 runners competing this year.  There was also a walking division.  Packet pick up was very easy, with two opportunities to pick up your race bib on both Friday and Saturday.  There was no large expo or anything, but that made the whole process quick and painless.  The swag bags included a water bottle, and techincal shirt (in both men and women’s sizes) and a variety of coupons for local restaurants and stores.

A race for lover's

I ran this 10K with my hubby and four of our friends.  Since I am a happy owner of an iphone now, I was all excited to run with it while listening to pandora and snapping some pictures along the way.  As we were biking to the start, it started to rain pretty heavily, and the hubby freaked out that the rain would ruin the phone (aka then he would have to pay for another one). He ended up taking it from me and dropping it back at home.  Of course the rain stopped as soon as we got to start, so unfortunately, that is why I have a lack of photos from this race.

There are several pros and cons with these smaller races.  I like that I don’t have to arrive two hours early to find a parking spot and get bused to the start, hurry to make it my corral, or wait for an hour to use the port-a-potty.  There are also many things I do not like. One, that there really are not any corrals.  Granted, we lagged a little bit and got stuck in the back so that messed up with my pace almost immediately.  I would have really liked the walkers and the runners to start at separate times.  This race did allow strollers, and that group DEFINIATELY needs to have their own start time.  Oh my goodness.  There were several points along the course, including right at the beginning, where the course got very narrow and crowded.  With 5 feet wide strollers in the mix, and you  basically get  gridlocked behind them during the narrow parts of the course.  The field spaced out about 1.5 miles into the race, which is a little too far in my opinion.

First bib of 2012

Originally, I was not going to run with my Garmin because I try to use it only for training, but thankfully changed my mind last minute.  I only saw one mile marker the whole race at mile 3.  I think there were more (my friend saw one at mile 5), but I don’t think they were very visable. There was also only split timer at the half way point.  During races, it drives me crazy if I have no idea how far along I am or how fast I am pacing, which would have happened today if I did not have my Garmin.   I am sure lack of mile markers and split times are   typical for smaller races, so I need to remember that and always use my garmin during them so I don’t go crazy.

The course was an out and back loop, with the start and finish at the same spot. There were two aid stations along the way at miles 2.5 and 4.5 that had water and Vitalyte.  I did look that up ahead of time and ended up bringing a small hand held water bottle with me because I knew I would need some more fuel along the way.  There were not too many spectators along the course, but since it was so narrow, I felt like I was surrounded my people all the time, which I did like.  Most of the runner’s were decked out in red or pink, or tutu’s!  Love when people get into the spirit of the race!

At the finish there was a good selection of bananas, oranges, clif bars, water, and more Vitalyte.  It was not a zoo getting out of the race area, and I could actually stop and tie my shoe laces and not get stepped on or yelled at!

Finishers' Medal

Since this was my first time ever racing a 10K, I automatically got a PR!  Don’t you love when that happens?  I felt surprisingly good the whole race, especially with my lack of running in the past few weeks.  I would have been happy with keeping a 10:00 mile pace, but I was actually able to stay under that for the majority of the race and even get faster splits at the end.  Oh, and can I tell you how much more fun I have running races with friend?  Even though we did not run together, just having people to hang out with at the start, finish, and go have brunch with afterwards is the best! According to my garmin, the distance at the finish was actually 6.25 miles, so not completely off the course itself.  The route was long the bay and a golf course.  Any time I run near water I think it’s great, so no complaints here on how it was set up.  Here were my splits:

Mile 1:  9:56  (my slowest, thanks to all of the congestion)

Mile 2: 9:12.8

Mile 3: 9:23.1

Mile 4:  9:19.9

Mile 5: 9:12.3

Mile 6: 8:52.9

0.25 Nubbin: 2:06 Avg Pace: 8:29

Total Time: 58:04 Avg Pace: 9:17

Not too bad!  I definitely was not too disappointed.

All in all, I had a good time with this race.  Minus the few problems that come with a smaller race, it was a fun local 10K with lots of fun people.  I will for sure do it again next year!

And since I have a lack of pictures, I will end one with my oh-so-cute puppy, who decided to pee all over me today as soon as I got home.  Troublemaker.

Did I do something wrong?

Race: Coronado Valentine’s Day 10K

Distance: 6.25 miles

Time: 58:04

Average pace: 9:17

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Race Recap:  Carlsbad Half-Marathon January 2011

Distance: 13.1 Miles

Chip Time: 2:43:14

Pace: 12:28/mile

This race took place due to the influence of co-workers.  In August 2010, I had just finished my first half marathon in two years.  I was feeling all good about running but looking forward to taking some time off from training.  Then, at work, I started to overhear people talk about signing up for the Carlsbad Half Marathon.  Lots of people!  I wanted in on the fun so I decided to try this race out too.  I am glad I did because it turned out to be one my favorite races that I have done.

My training for this race was so-so.  The race was in the middle of January so I had to train through the holidays.  I am not sure about anyone else, but that is a difficult time of year for me to train.  We had trips out to Hawaii and Pennsylvania during my training time frame (a week apart) so I experienced many different running conditions.  The perfect type of running weather for me is 60-65 degrees and sunny (read: the definition of San Diego).  With these two trips thrown into the mix, the weather ranged from 85 degrees and humid in Hawaii, to 40 degrees and cold in Pennsylvania!  I found myself getting up at 5AM to run in Hawaii to beat the heat, and trying to plan my days around afternoon runs when it was the warmest while on the East Coast.  Not to mention, that time of year is filled with yummy treats and lots of family events so finding a free moment to run was not always easy.

I only completed one 10 mile run before this race and crossed my fingers it would be enough.  I’m never concerned about my times in a race, just that I finish.  This was my slowest race, but like I said, one of my favorites so that is what is important!

The race took place on a beautiful January day.

SoCal Winter

It was cold at the start of the race, but no more than a mile in it had warmed up to about 70 degrees.  I loved it, but gave me a predicament about what I should wear.  I knew I did not want to be super cold at the start, or super hot once I got running.  I opted to layer clothes and just remove them as I warmed up. Which was about 30 seconds after I started I left the starting line.

How many layers?

This course was perfect.  It was super flat and an out-and-back layout.  I normally hate out-and-back type races, but the scenery was so pretty that I never got bored like I usually do.  I also enjoyed seeing the elite runners run by me in the opposite direction.  I am always in awe that people exist that can run miles in 5 minutes.

My view for 13.1 miles

This  was the first race I did with my hubby.  He said we would stay together for most of the race, but he took off after mile 2! It was all good though.  I ran into some of my friends from work along the way so that kept me going.  I don’t have pictures of me and the hubster because it took me an hour to find him after we finished because I totally forgot where our meeting spot was.

Mile 9- almost done!

What I really loved about this course was that there were water stations EVERY mile.  I get so dehydrated on these long runs that I usually have to carry water with me which gets quite annoying after a few miles or so.  I was very happy to hear that my thirst would be quenched every mile, and it was.  I even managed to snag some orange slices which were so delicious around mile 11 and gave me some much needed energy to finish. I do not use goos or gels, but I may start to explore them in my upcoming races.

Happy to be done!

I will be a frequent Carlsbad runner if they can promise perfect conditions like this every year!

xo, Kait

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