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Posts tagged ‘Brazen Racing’

It’s not like I’ve never done this before

I've run half marathons before.

But even so, I'm incredibly nervous about running a half marathon tomorrow.

This will be my 25th half marathon since 2011. I'm completely aware some people run more than that in a year. But this one is the first one I've had a complete training cycle for, a ramp up, a taper down, etc. since my daughter's birthday.

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Reppin’ the East Bay at the Let’s Go 510K


I don’t hide my love of the San Francisco Bay Area at all. After two years of living in Oakland for graduate school, I found it hard to come back to the valley after spending a summer doing an internship, after graduation, in Dallas. Everything just seemed to slow. I went from areas where there were 100 things to do each night to an area where there were limited opportunities after 8 p.m.

I’ve adjusted better in the past couple years to suburbia. A move to a neighborhood where there were more commuters than not helped. What’s also helped is having easy access to the East Bay, including my favorite haunts in Oakland and Berkeley. My husband works in Richmond every day, so if I really, really need to do something, I can meet him in the East Bay.

I’m more connected to that area than I am my own some weekends. That’s probably why I consider Bay Area runs my “home” races. I know I work in Stockton, and have since I took my first job years ago, my most the races I sign up for and run are close to home the opposite way.

I run the East Bay because I love the East Bay.

That’s why it was easy for me to decide to apply to be a race ambassador for the Let’s Go 510K on Oct. 19.

I was so excited when I got accepted to be an ambassador with a group of other fantastic runners. I was more thrilled that I got to be part of this inaugural race representing the 510 area code. The race comes from a team sponsorship with Represent Running (which also puts on the 415K and the 408K) and Brazen Racing.


The 10K route is probably the most beautiful one I’ve ever run. It starts at the back of Golden Gate Fields, in the parking lot right along the waterfront.

My husband dropped me off early to make up some time at work, so I had about 40 minutes to enjoy the scenery.


Yeah, my 10K location was probably so much better than other people’s that weekend. Not even kidding.

Although a mostly “flat” course, runners go on a significant uphill in the first .20 miles. But that’s it.


First things first, before I continue my recap, I need to talk about the elephant on the blog: I’ve been running pregnant.


I’m at 14 weeks now. I was at 12 weeks then. I’m still kind of in the “Is she just gaining weight or is she pregnant category?” with my work and home clothes. I’ve only had to buy a couple maternity shirts because I have a closet of clothes that once fit me when I was 200 pounds, four years ago, that I just couldn’t bear to part with.

In my running clothes, though, it’s a different story. I’ve been bumping out for about six weeks now. Spandex doesn’t do women any favors in hiding a mini baby bump.

Running pregnant has NOT been easy. I always thought I’d be one of those women who ran through her entire pregnancy. But the first trimester left me so exhausted that I did little running. The one half marathon I did took me 3:21 minutes because of fatigue and injury.

Also not easy? The morning sickness that seems to creep up on mornings when I have races. Imagine how happy I was when the 510K started at 10 a.m. and not only gave me time to sleep in, but also to pull myself together in the morning.


One of the biggest selling points of the 510K is the location. It starts and ends, as mentioned before, at Golden Gate Fields. In fact, the finish is actually ON THE RACE TRACK.

The route moves along the waterfront, never crossing over the Eastshore Freeway (Interstate 80) and taking runners around Cesar Chavez Park in Berkeley. This inaugural race had about 1,000 people sign up for it, which I learned at the volunteer shift I did the day before the run.


That meant that there were always a good amount of people around during the run, even though I was a little slower than my fastest 10K time. I was glad too, if only because I’ve been very cautious about racing since finding out baby is on the way.

The first two miles were a little too fast for me right now: I ran a 10:00 and a 10:07. Yikes. It was already an odd warm day in the Bay Area, so I was starting to overheat a little pretty quickly. I carried my water bottle with me, which I normally don’t do in 10Ks, but figured with extra blood pumping through me I would need it, I was right.

As we made our way into the park, I started to slow and take some walk breaks. I probably should have went out at an even 11 pace and then worked my way down and pushed it at the end if I felt good. Instead those two 10-minute miles, which are pretty common for me in 10Ks, were kind of killer.

My next two miles were reflective of that: 11:46 and 11:32.

I definitely went out too fast and buy the time we were working our way back up along the scenic San Francisco Bay, my heart was beating a little too heavy and I was fading fast.


I may look strong in the photo above, but by then I was dying. At the second water station, I chugged down two cups of water and two cups of electrolyte. I was also sipping from my bottle more frequently.

My last two miles were similar: 12:38 and 11:42.

That said, I wasn’t disappointed by my finish time. I ran a solid 1:09:17, averaging 11:11 miles.

The best part, though, was finishing along the race track. The material on the track was interesting, to say the least. The last .20 included something of a single-track finish-area as people didn’t want to carve out new tracks on the track.

I actually ran ahead of quite a few people and kind of created my own path. I don’t want to say it was hard, just weird. I’m definitely not used to running on that sort of surface.


Represent and Brazen had a great finish-line festival after that included the typical Brazen set up of food and refreshments. And the medal was ridiculously awesome.


It’s bigger than some of my marathon medals!

Since my husband was still at work, I stopped by the Represent Racing booth and said hi. I also sat down for a little bit and took in the scene. The race track was a vastly different environment than I’d ever finished in.

The best part was the interaction with betters.

Case in point was a man who stopped me to ask what was happening.

Him: “Did you get in free? What was happening here?”

Me: “The runners got in free. It was for a race.”

Him: “Was there betting on it? Did I miss it?”

Me: “No. There was no betting. At least not that I know of … “

Awkward. When I mentioned it to my husband, he laughed for a good while.


The Let’s Go 510K quickly became one of my favorite races this year. I was actually excited to run a 10K instead of a half marathon. I was happy for the 10 a.m. start time and more excited for the course that kept it close to the bay.

The aim of Represent Running is to showcase different parts of the Bay Area by offering races in each of the area codes. Runners can get a “Run the Bay” medal if they complete all three races in a year period.

I would be all over the challenge, because the medal is pretty sweet, but I haven’t registered for any races after the Nov. 24 Berkeley Half Marathon. I think I’ll still be running, but not racing into my mid second trimester and my third trimester.

This is a GREAT race, though. And the first year event went off so well. I haven’t seen a first-year race so organized in a very long time.

Overall, the 510K was an amazing experience. It is definitely a race I’ll sign up for next year.

Disclaimer: I was given a free race entry as part of the Let’s Go 510K ambassador program, but the thoughts and race report are my own opinions.

Today was a good day to run


To say running has been a struggle lately might be an understatement. It’s been impossible on most days. In four weeks of scheduled races, I only made it to two. But the two I made it two were like night and day.

Two weeks ago, I ran a horrible half marathon. To make matters worse, my running buddy was having such a hard time with the race that she kept telling me to go ahead. I didn’t want to. As much as I had invested in it, I didn’t feel the need to do run away from her or go on without her. Nope. Wasn’t happening.

So Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose didn’t go well for either of us. She was trying to keep me at a slower pace, too. If she hadn’t have paced me through the first eight miles, I probably wouldn’t have finished.

Today, though, marked the inaugural Let’s Go 510K.

So many things were amazing about today. I’ll write a race recap later, and hopefully be back to regular blogging, but a couple standouts included:

  1. An excellent turnout of people: I was given the chance to volunteer thanks to my race ambassador duties at packet pick up on Friday and was told that around 1,000 people signed up to run the event. THAT’S AN AMAZING NUMBER! Especially for a first-time event.
  2. Good running conditions: The race start was at 10 a.m., which meant that I could sleep in! It was still cold and slightly windy when we started our trek from Golden Gate Fields toward the Berkeley Marina.
  3. Plentiful support: The East Bay really came out to celebrate this run. We passed members of the Oakland Raider’s Black Hole, young soccer players and avid bird watchers — all cheered loud and proud.
  4. Location, location, location: A start along the San Francisco Bay? A route that winds around Albany and Berkeley’s picturesque shoreline? A finish ON THE TRACK at Golden Gate Fields? I haven’t run an in-city 10K with that much to offer ever.

The best part, though, was that I ran decently. Not well. Not PR status. But good enough that I feel better about running again.


I haven’t had such a “runner’s high” in quite sometime. But today, surrounded by a group of ridiculously excited first ever “five and dimers” I found a new spark in my passion for running.

A true middle packer


My Garmin has me only running 12.99 miles today, but I know the course is 13.1. It also has me finishing a full 11 seconds after my official time. I never start my Garmin that early. I’ve had some irregularities with distance lately with Gertrude the Garmin III, so I’m not sure if it’s in need of calibration, but I was off the entire time today.

I also had some pretty significant stomach issues out on the course today. My abdomen was cramping up, very much like it was before my gallbladder was removed. The electrolytes didn’t go down well. The Gu made feel gross. None of those things have happened since my surgery. I have been having some issues with my GI tract lately…I’m trying to get it under control again.

That was the bad news.

The good news? I still did well on the course.

In spite of myself. And my slightly Debbie Downer attitude going into the run. That’s anxiety. It kicks you when you’re down. Repeatedly.

I told my husband three times as he was loading his kayak up (so he could explore the bay while I ran), that I just wanted to go back to bed. Last month, I did just that and didn’t do the color-themed run I was supposed to do.

The anxiety even got me at the start.

My official time is 2:19:15, which makes it my second best half marathon. (And yes, I feel guilty my Garmin didn’t read that.)

I’ve run in the 2:20 range enough that I can truly call myself a “middle packer.” I’m actually kind of proud of it. I’ve shown I can be consistent. Maybe my nerves will be far less the next time than they have been. Or not.

This is the last half I am currently registered for until the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon. I run that a week after I run 26.2 at the Half Moon Bay International Marathon. A chance for a PR? Probably not. I’m fairly comfortable with the knowledge that it takes me much longer to recover from a marathon than a half. I’m not going to push myself.

Right now, I’m just happy to be a “middle packer.” Why? Because the course changes when you move through it faster. It becomes a different world completely. I’m incrementally spending less time out on the course, which may not seem like much, but it’s huge to me.

I AM getting better. Now if I can only get my training and diet back to par as the school semester begins, I can probably get even better.

I can only hope, right?

Not knowing what to expect from the next 13.1


That image is from my first major breakthrough PR at the Brazen Summer Breeze race last year. It was my first experience of achieving a sub 2:25 finish with a 2:22:45 finish. It was my first half marathon where I averaged under 11-minute miles.

I’ve run many, many more since then under 11-minute. My San Diego PR stands at 2:16:41.

Tomorrow, I’m running Summer Breeze for a second time. And I’m not sure what to expect.

The reason? Those previous PRs kind of came out of nowhere. I hadn’t necessarily been running faster in my training runs. I feel like San Diego was almost completely a fluke, kind of my reward for weeks upon weeks of constant races. If that’s even possible.

I don’t know.

My PR streak was broken in June at the See Jane Run Half Marathon when the heat was just a little too unbearable for me to get it together. I had also run a half marathon the week before. I finished, though, in 2:24:11, still much better than my previous times before my 2013 racing season began.

I think the hardest part of PRing is not knowing when it will happen again. I held my half marathon PR time for almost a year from 2011 to 2012. I started feeling like I’d never run a 2:27:20 or better ever again. Then I shaved five minutes off my time. I chalked it up to just “it being my day.”

But I’ve show, now consistently, that my “day” is turning into a strong racing season. It doesn’t make getting to the start line any easier, especially with my anxiety.

I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. I don’t know what to expect.

Am I finally getting better at the half? I don’t know.

Should I go out with confidence? I don’t know.

Am I surrounded by self doubt? Yes. And I hate it.

Luck of the Irish comes into play at 10K


Last year at about this time, I was writing about how this same race didn’t go as well as I thought it would. I’ve never sure how to approach trail races. I used to spend more time running trails. As I started training for one marathon, then another and then another, I moved away from that more leisure-like activity.

I’m joking, of course. It’s not leisurely at all.

Trails mean business.

And this trail was no exception.

It includes 400 feet of climbing in the course of a mile. Then more climbing. The first climb is a series of switchbacks that wreak havoc of every bone in your body on the way up. The first down is a quad destroyer.

The Badger Cove trail isn’t even one of Brazen’s toughest.

Last year, I was over the top anxious about this 10K. On Saturday, I was mostly fine. My husband had to work, so I packed up my belongings and drove myself to Livermore’s Del Valle State Recreation Area. The drive was about 30-minutes. I parked, thanks to a pre-paid parking pass sent over days before via email by Brazen Racing, and headed over to the sign-in area.


There was a lot of green. I normally don’t take photos of people’s butts or backsides for that matter, but this kind of illustrated the sea of green that was everywhere along the trail.

I headed back to my car after using the portable toilet. I warmed up a little, but mostly just looked through my goodie bag. About thirty minutes beforehand, I decided to head back over to the start and use the real toilets, which were a little bit of a walk away.


I walked by as the half marathoners were preparing to head out, 25 minutes before the 10K group.

It was chilly, but manageable. I didn’t need a long-sleeve shirt. In fact, I wore one of my only green shirts, a Nike Dri-Fit Cotton one from the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in 2011. (Does that seem like a long time ago to anyone else? To me, lately, it does.)

It was a peaceful, beautiful morning in general.


That view right there? That’s the reason to do trail runs. You get to spend more than an hour looking at hills and beautiful bodies of water. Plus, Brazen doesn’t charge an arm and a leg for races so you can do so for a good price, with a lot of support. (You can also run the trails for just the price of parking for free, but the support is amazing to have.)

I lined up for the start at about 8:20 a.m.

I held my arm close to me. I was afraid of getting bumped. And right when I thought everything would be OK, a guy walked by me and hit my shoulder. It stung a little. I think if I hadn’t had been so chilled, I would have likely been more hurt by it.

At 8:25 a.m., we took off.

Mile 1: 10:41 — I was worried about my calves cramping, as they have done quite a bit lately. I tried to hold the speed down to not aggravate whatever problems I’m having with my legs. A little bit of an uphill in this mile, but mostly the distance served to take us from the paved park to the trails.

Mile 2: 11:36 — Mostly flat, some small hills. We start the single-track area around here, which always causes some slowdowns, especially when people start to walk on the uphills. No problems here, the surface is getting choppy.

Mile 3: 14:10 — This may seem like a ridiculous pace for a mile, but this one is all uphill. It’s a battle. Switchbacks. Panting. Craziness. And yet, I took about two minutes off my time on here last from last year. I just kept moving. I never wanted to give up. I just wanted to move and keep going. When I finished this mile I was so happy, if only because I knew I had knocked a significant amount of time off that mile from last year.

I started to think that maybe I could come in quicker than last year.

Mile 4: 12:31 — Beginning of the significant downhills here. Normally I’m a little less cautious when descending, but for this particular run I had decided that I was going to take it slow, very cautiously. If I fell, I had no way to really pick myself back up. If I fell and hurt my right arm, I’d really be in a mess. I kept it nice and slow heading down, and then cautious when the hills started again.

Mile 5: 14:05 — One significant uphill here. I noticed the time and was wondering how bad I was doing there. It turns out I wasn’t doing that bad. I ran a 16:05 on that mile last year. I was doing significantly better now. But I didn’t know that then.

This was also the point where I was heading down a hill an suddenly felt like I was losing control. I can’t describe it other that it was like knowing that I had to stop, but not having the breaks to do so. I was scared for a minute. I thought of myself flying straight into a bush or, worse, a tree. If the trail hadn’t had made a quick turn uphill, I thought I would have just flown down a hill. That uphill gave me back the control I had lost.

I stopped and walked for a couple minutes after that. I was kind of scared. And, at that point, my arm had tensed up so much that it really, really hurt.


Mile 6: 11:15 — We start coming down from the hills an back to the flat trail path. I start thinking I can possibly come in a little under. I’m not really paying attention to the exact time, but when I see how far under last year’s time (1:26:53) and I realized it had been an amazing run.

Mile .42: 4:02 — At that point, I really started to push. I don’t know why at that sudden spot I did, but I just wanted to be done. My legs were tired. My arm hurt.


Around the corner and into the finisher’s shoot, where I was handed my very colorful rainbow medal with a badger on it (see beginning of this post).

I walked through a tent area and turned around to see what I would consider a Brazen pot of gold.


All the medals! The rest of these were waiting for other finishers to claim. I thought it was kind of fitting.

My final time: 1:18:13

I can’t even begin to say how proud I am of that time. It’s probably my best trail-run showing to date. It kind of makes me want to sign up for more, but I have a couple marathons I need to finish before I can head back out for the views.

Why am I running better? I don’t know exactly. It could be both mental and physical reasons. I know that I feel a lot better since the gallbladder removal. I know that I no longer have nagging abdominal pain or discomfort when I run. But maybe it’s also because I’m running a lot lighter lately. Not as many worries. A lot more happiness.

There’s a lot of good at the end of my rainbow right now.


I keep surprising myself


This morning I woke up, calm, ready to head to Livermore and do my first official 10K in a full year. I didn’t believe it either when I realized, today, that the last time I ran a 10K was this same race, a year ago.

I’ve a couple shorter distances in that time, but I knew this was the first in a year when I opened the pocket on the water bottle and saw that I had the map from last’s year Badger Cove run tucked into it. I only use the bottle, a small Lululemon for Amphipod one, for 10Ks.

Last year I ran Badger Cover, with all it’s crazy elevation changes and switch backs in 1:26:41. I wasn’t too upset about my time for that one because I knew it would be tough. I also remember the nagging side pain I got during the greatest climb that caused me to keel over on the side of the trail and feel like I was dying.

We know now that was the gallbladder. This year, it’s gone.

And I’m better than I thought I could ever be, even with tired legs and a bit of a dehydration/potassium deficiency as of late. That’s why my calves have been hurting me so much lately. Three bottles of water yesterday and a potassium supplement and this morning I was good to go.

Today, I finished the Badger Cove 10K in 1:18:13, according to the results posted before I left.

When I left my house this morning, my arm felt more stiff than it had last night. I popped an Ibuprofen, for lack of not being able to find a Tylenol, and was out the door. It didn’t take the edge off. At the start line, a guy brushed by my left arm and made me cringe. I’m considering writing “I have a fractured arm” on my head.

But I started running. And I forgot about my arm. At least for most of the race.

I don’t know who this version of me is and what business she has earning two course PRs in less than a month, but something has lit a fire inside me. And I like it.

Going long at the Brazen Dirty (Half) Dozen

I want to say I didn’t set out to run a marathon during the Brazen Dirty (Half) Dozen six-hour endurance run. But I knew it was a possibility. I knew I could run a marathon in six hours. I had before, even though my last experience in San Diego wasn’t pretty. I also knew I’d never attempted such a distance on trails, which in many cases tend to increase my time thanks to not-so-secure footing and rolling hills.

But I was confident in my ability for this one.

I’ve had some really good runs lately. Those were mostly on flatter ground or on the treadmill, but I felt strong going into the run. My goals were pretty simple. I wanted to attempt eight laps. And I wanted to run the entire time.

I wanted to run the entire time even if it meant slowing down on certain areas and not pushing myself super hard on others. There was one specific hill that I power walked up every time and I was really glad I did by final two passes around.

I’m happy to report that I made both goals basically. I made it eight times around the 3.37-mile course. And I ran 5:52:21. I probably could have made the .7 loop around too once more, but figured I didn’t want to chance it, since they were starting to countdown and I was pretty tired.

My morning started out at 4 a.m. when I woke up to get ready to make the trek to Point Pinole Regional Park. We arrived at about 6:22 a.m.

It was a beautiful, foggy morning.

The bathroom lines were nonexistent. And with two bathroom locations on the course, I didn’t have to worry about ever needing to wait in line. Though two or three bathroom stops during the run added to my time. My brother came too and we tried to get his packet early. No go. They weren’t giving them out for a couple more hours.

Danny went back to the car and fell asleep. Thomas also took a nap. (Important note for later.)

The race got started right on time after some announcements. I should note that there were probably less than 200 people in total racing the six and twelve hour runs. I think there were more for the six than the twelve, definitely.

There’s another photo from the start. We all stared together. By the second loop, we were all pretty spaced out, which was one of the appealing features of this race for me. I wanted to do a race without a lot of pressure. I wanted to be relaxed after the experience in San Diego. This was perfect.

I started out strong. I found my pace pretty quickly and I just kept moving. And moving. And moving.

My splits were all across the board. I ran all over. From 11:22 to just under 16 minutes.

There’s more detail of it here. I don’t think I was inconsistent though. It’s a timed race where individual laps are counted. That includes pit stops, like water bottle refills and stopping to look at results. I also stopped at the aid stations. My average moving time, according to Garmin, was 12:40, which isn’t bad at all, especially since I kept repeating the course. There was a A LOT of course fatigue for me at the end because of that.

My shirt here says “Run Happy.” I kind of feel like that was what I was doing all day.

This was at the top of the last hill on the loop. I ran up it nearly every time. In fact, I was doing pretty good running up nearly every hill. I paced down as I went uphill, with small steps to make it through. I was also incredibly conservative with the downhills, including a fairly steep one on a single track near the point of Point Pinole (also the best view).

I wore my long-sleeve shirt the first three laps. I wanted to take it off sooner, but Thomas was still sleeping. He didn’t show up with a new bottle until I was finishing my fourth lap. And he didn’t bring my back. I was a little upset. It had everything I needed it in, including sunscreen, which would come in handy later.

He kept refilling my bottle, so every two go rounds I would refill it.

Each time we’d pass under the Brazen arch. Later a second arch would go up for the 5K/10K. I ran the 10K last year and thought the endurance runners were crazy. And then I became one.

And there were great, changing signs throughout the course. Fat cells burning? You bet. According to Garmin, I burned 2,855 calories. I did five Gu in Vanilla Bean flavor. I also had Thomas constantly refilling my 20-ounce Amphipod water bottle. I brought my own Gatorade, because I knew it wouldn’t be available on the course.

I wish I would have taken a photo of an aid station, specifically the one at the arch where volunteers had everything from mini peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to oranges to chocolate candy. The other aid station, at 1.7 miles from the arch, was staffed by Mountain House runners who encouraged me on each go round. I looked forward to getting to that aid station every time.

All the volunteers were so encouraging. Including the “woo” guy taking photos. In the six hours, he showed up three places along the course.

The second time I saw him, I told him I was glad he moved because he was so encouraging.

That’s me saying “hey, you moved!” and telling him I was glad to see him. He then said he’d be moving again and I thanked him for the support. He caught that too.

Notice that these photos are vastly different from the ones I posted for the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon a couple weeks back. I wasn’t miserable during this run. I wasn’t in pain. I was having a really good time. I was taking my time. And I was loving every minute of the nearly six hours I was running. It was awesome. It was probably the best run I’ve had in a long time.

And I think it had a little something to do with my shoes.

My shoes that are now covered in dust. Check out my legs post run. I was sunburned during the last marathon, covered in dirt for this one.

And yes, I ended up at the end running a marathon. Slow and steady, finishing, according to my Garmin, with 26.7 miles. I’m still waiting for final results to post on the Brazen site to see what the timing company has recorded.

Another one with my jiggly arms. I’ve slimmed down everywhere on my body except my arms. Swimming was helping that, but I haven’t picked it up again since my swimming school shut down. So my arms just flab around when I run. Gross, I know. Look how slim my legs are though! Silver lining I guess.

It was during the lap that I’m photographed in above that my brother Danny whipped the competition during the noon 5K. I’m not even kidding. He finished fifth overall. He also was first in his age group. I’ve only ever twice finished in the top three in my age group and that was during incredibly small races.

Danny was wicked fast.

So he was waiting at the end with Thomas when I finally came in on my last go round. It took him 23:58 to run one lap. It took me much, much longer, but I was trying to pace myself to get through all six hours. (Not making up excuses at all, I was slow and steady.)

At the end, Danny was presented an awesome medal that the announcer referred to as a “piece of poop.”

Is that not the coolest medal ever for a 5K or 10K? I would have been kind of jealous if I hadn’t also earned a pretty awesome medal that also doubled as a coaster and bottle opener.

It even has backing on it so it won’t scratch the table. That on top of the awesome hoodie I received instead of a shirt and I think this is the best distance run I’ve ran so far. I know I felt great after I finished. And that was really important to me after the disaster in San Diego.

Plus I got to spend the day with my husband (who wasn’t all that great at crewing, so much so he said next time Danny could crew for me and he’d go to the nearby shooting range) and my little brother, who got a second age-group medal that I didn’t take a photo of.

I sent my mom that photo as a “proof of life” for my brother. Danny ran his first half marathon with me in 2011. After we ate and got back to my house, he had an accelerated heart rate. He ended up in the emergency room in the hospital down the street. I felt horrible, so I didn’t ask him to run with me again until Bay to Breakers. I sent her a “proof of life” photo after that too.

You can tell I changed shirts here. I had to. As it became hotter (probably why I slowed a lot near the end), I became more and more sweaty. I smelled so bad after I finished. I immediately took off my tank top and put on another shirt. Yeah, it was that bad.

We hung around a little, mostly so I could regain my bearings. Running for that long kind of wears the legs down. Surprisingly I’m not feeling half bad a day later. As we left, the 12-hour runners were still going strong.

I admire that. I honestly don’t think I could have gone six more hours. My toes were starting to blister (just from repeated pounding), and my right hip was starting to feel a little pain. But I had no IT band issues. My shoes were wide enough to not push my feet into a curve. I was happy the entire way through.

A good day? Yes. A good run? Yes.

It’s funny that taking longer to go a similar distance than I did just over a month ago came make me feel better, but this run wasn’t about the distance as much as it was covering all six hours. It was about finding my stride and sticking to it. It was also about finally meeting a goal I set for myself.

And I did. Success. Finally.

Prepping for a long run

A couple months ago I signed up for a six-hour Brazen endurance run thinking to myself “six hours doesn’t sound so bad.” That was before the horrible marathon in San Diego. That was also before I started hitting my stride a couple weeks ago and ran nearly 40 miles in one week. Some good. Some bad. All running.

Saturday is the day. The six-hour endurance run begins at 7 a.m. My brother will run a 5K at noon as part of it. I’m hoping for over 20 miles. Each pass around is 3.37 miles, which means I need to at least do that six times (for a little over 20 miles). My second goal is to, maybe, go the marathon distance again. I’m not completely sure I’ll get there, but I am going to try.

Today, Matt from the Mountain House Runners was nice enough to pick up my race packet for me. I was super stoked to get it early since we always tend to run late on race day. I’ll say, it’s a pretty sweet deal for the entry fee that I was given an awesome zip up hoodie with this year’s logo and all.

The back has the clock that made up last year’s medal. I ran the 10K last year as part of this event because it was at 11 a.m., which meant I could sleep in and go. So I have one of last year’s 10K medals, but I also saw the endurance medal, which was pretty awesome. That’s not what made me sign up. I haven’t run a Brazen race in awhile. I wanted to do something with them again.

The endurance run seemed like a good idea. (I laugh now.)

The front has the logo that’s on the Brazen website for this specific run. The zip up is high quality too. I think I’ll get a lot of use out of it.

As I gather my race items, though, I’m trying to think about all I need to get me through six hours of running. I know some things for sure.

There will be two aid stations, each stocked with all the conveniences that I’m accustomed to at Brazen races. That means fruit, gummy bears, oranges, water and, likely, a sport drink. I know the stations will be well manned, if only because there will be people out running a 12-hour race too. I also know there are bathrooms along the course. I remember last year there being three, one near the start, one about a mile in and one closer to the end.

So there’s not a lot of questions about that.

But I wonder, too, what I’ll need to make it through.

I’ve started gathering items to pack away for my husband and brother to provide to me while they “crew.”

The first is sunscreen. A second is body lubricant/glide.

I’ll likely need to reapply the sunscreen numerous times. The spray bottles are great because you don’t have to worry about missing certain areas. I can just have someone spray me all over. It will be quick too.

The lube/glide will be for those areas that need reapplying after awhile. This includes my fat little right arm, which always seems to chafe. I don’t need anything for my legs because I’ll be wearing capris. I also have some powdered Glide for in between my toes.

I don’t typically run in a hat, but I figured I’d pack my visor that I picked up at the Big Sur Half Marathon last year so I wouldn’t be too hot. This is also about sun protection. Most of the trail is covered and nice, but we do hit the sun here and there.

I’m also planning on taking a stock pile of my Gu supply.

True story: I usually keep that much Gu in a bag in my closest. I once realized I ran out of Gu the night before a run. That run happened to be the Big Sur Half. It was too late to go buy any new Gu. I had no options. So I ran without. And it was a horrible, horrible run. I was miserable the entire time. And hungry. Finally, at about mile seven, the volunteers were handing out Gu on the course. But they didn’t seem to have any Vanilla Bean, which is kind of my favorite.

So I stock up. All the time.

I know, though, that Gu wouldn’t get me through six hours.

I’m also bringing something more substantial. I’ll pack some natural fruit rolls. Some chocolate covered raisins. And my favorite type of Luna bar.

Love those.

I’m nervous about this run, but excited at the same time. I think it will be a nice, low key way to get in some distance. I also think it will be a fun time.

Six hours seems like a really long time, though.

I hope I can make it.


Exciting news

Last year, I ran the 10K for the Brazen Dirty Dozen and Half Dozen.

This year, I’ve decided to do the six-hour endurance race at Point Pinole.

I’m probably crazy. It’s only a month after the marathon. But it will officially be my “back” point, I’m hoping.

A 3.1-mile loop around the recreational area. One foot at a time. One foot at a time.

This should be fun.