#39 La Jolla

 

39 down only 13 to go.

This road HM had more intense hills than last weeks trail race. My running shoes have 370.2 miles on them and they are dead. Running downhill I felt each footfall jolt through my body. This week I am going to get new shoes. I love getting new running shoes. General guidelines say to replace shoes every 300 to 500 miles. I will still wear these shoes for short runs. I have noticed that my shoes need to be replaced more often now that I’m heavier. I also land heavier than I used to which wears shoes out faster. I’m sure it must have sounded like BarBar was chasing them, to all the people I passed on the downhill.

The La Jolla HM was only a 15 minute drive from our house. One of the many nice things about living in San Diego is that there are so many close races. This is nice for us because Tim works on Fridays now so it is more challenging to travel.

This HM was a point to point with the option to park at either end. We chose to park at the end point and take the bus to the start. I’m glad we did even though it meant getting up earlier. I really don’t like to hunt down buses after running a race. I was impressed by the luxury buses. Most of the race buses I have been on were old school buses that made scary noises. A father and son who were running the HM together sat across from us. How cool is that?

#39 La Jolla

I wonder whose idea this was

There were 6 waves based on what you thought your finishing time would be. I was wondering why Tim’s bib number started with a 5 and mine started with a 6, when we signed up at the same time. I always overestimate my time because I hate to get passed. Tim came back a wave to start with me.

#39 La Jolla

I promise that this is the last before picture in this awful shirt

This race had some stunning ocean views.

#39 La Jolla

Ocean view from a bridge

It also had awesome musical entertainment.

#39 La Jolla

Watching people work their arms while I work my legs

It soon became clear that not everyone was as fast as they thought they would be. In the first mile I started to see walkers with bibs from the 5th wave. I made a game of looking for the lowest bib numbers I could find. I passed a bunch of 4th and 5th wavers, a couple in the 3rd wave and one very fit looking guy in the 2nd wave who must have been having an awful day.

#39 La Jolla

Love this shirt

Both Tim and me started out with flip floppy tummies so I thought I was going to have an awful race but once I started running I started to feel stronger. I was able to run more than the first 5 miles even though there were some hills I would usually have walked. I knew the big hill was coming at mile 5.5 so I promised myself I would walk then. Much to my surprise I saw Tim ahead of me talking to a girl and running slow. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to run long with him because I needed to walk and Tim kept running up the Torrey Pines hill.

#39 La Jolla

Entering Torrey Pines

This race I realized that I talk out loud to myself just like a crazy person. I turned off my music when I started walking and said, “no music for walkers”. A woman next to me looked over and said, “That’s pretty harsh”. I noticed that most people were walking the hill. Tim has such a good eye for signs. I thought this picture was hilarious.

#39 La Jolla

Runners are so disobedient

The climb was hard but beautiful. Park rangers were out with signs and encouragement. This is the woman who made all the signs.

#39 La Jolla

I love owls

My favorite part of the race was the downhill after the Torrey hills climb. I flew past dozens of people. At least it felt like I was flying. I was probably only doing about a 9 minute mile.

#39 La Jolla

Every race should have a dancing banana

Unfortunately, the last couple miles of this race were pretty ugly with awful roads. And the race director must have known it because they had volunteers directing runners around potholes and telling us to be careful. I thought that was a nice touch.

Tim spotted a woman wearing a Sculpin t-shirt. Sculpin is a great beer made by a local brewery. I don’t usually like beer very much but I like Sculpin. On a hot day my favorite is a cold Grapefruit Sculpin. She was running Tim’s pace so he was just joking when he asked if she was sponsored by Ballast Point. It turns out she was.

#39 La Jolla

Ballast Point – Sponsor us!

After sprinting across the finish line I recovered in the medical tent for about 5 minutes. I used my asthma excuse but really I just wanted to sit in a chair in the shade and catch my breath. Tim also headed for the shade of the tent after the race mentioning his a-fib when they questioned him.

This race had chocolate milk! All races should have chocolate milk. We sat under a shady tree and listened to a fairly awful band as I drank my milk. There was a beer tent and after party but we didn’t go. I was sore and short of breath and just wanted to go home.

#39 La Jolla

We survived another race

After the race I found out that we had run right by Tim’s office and I didn’t even notice.

Cons

  • No designated race parking ($15 parking garage)
  • A section run next to heavy traffic (one lane was closed)
  • End on a crappy section of road
  • Quite pricey

Pros

  • Luxury buses
  • Plenty of port-o-pots
  • Ocean views
  • Running through Torrey Pines Park
  • Course music
  • Crowd support with fun signs and costumes
  • An aid station with baby wipes!
  • Chocolate milk
  • Handed a paper bag full of snacks after the race
  • Beer garden and band
#39 La Jolla

Tarzan ran the entire race barefoot

I woke up Sunday morning feeling tired and dreading what I knew was going to be a hilly race. I was wrong. I loved this race. It doesn’t get much better than running through Torrey Pines and along side the ocean in the same race. This race was beautiful and fun. It just had the good vibe feeling. In spite of the hills this is a very beginner friendly race. Everyone in the middle of the pack seemed to be walking the hills anyway. I would highly recommend this race. It’s quite popular and did sell out so if you want to do this race don’t wait until the last minute to sign up. The only real negative was that this was a spendy race but all the bigger races in CA are. I would like to do this race next year and maybe stay for the beer party.

#39 La Jolla

I feel sad and lonely. Please leave a comment and I will feel happy and loved.

#38 Foxy Trail

  • April 19th, 2015
  • San Diego, California
  • Sharon: 2:45:34
  • Tim: 2:36:00

 

38 down only 14 to go.

Although I would have done a few things differently (I can sat that about almost everything) I loved this race. I was a little worried because most of my – what the hell was I thinking – races have been trail runs. This was a beautiful HM with some challenging climbs but nothing as scary as we faced in FOURmidable. My quads (front of thighs) also known as my – you shouldn’t run so fast on the downhill – muscles, were sore for a couple days after this race. This usually happens to me when I run trails. I do love to run downhill as fast as I can. Yes, I have fallen but not during the 52 T-Shirts project.

This race was on trails around Fletcher lake about 40 minutes NE of San Diego. At the packet pickup I had to go back to the car and get my ID. Actually, Tim went back to the car and got my ID while I stood in line for the bathroom. I thought having to show ID to pickup the bib was a bit of security overkill for a race that didn’t even have chip timing. I think any race that has more than 100 people (this race had almost 300) should be chip timed. We always start near the back (as we should) but apparently some people don’t get it. Hint – if you know you will be walking in the first mile you belong in back. I understand why people would want to start towards the front. Gun timing makes the final time of slow runners appear even slower. I ran about the same pace (according to my Garmin) as I did last weekend but the course was much harder (in a good way) this week.

#38 Foxy Trail

All our before pictures are starting to look the same.

Once again, this race reminded me how important it is to be mentally prepared. Because it was a trail race I told myself to expect hills that would make me cry, roots and rocks that would try to trip me, and no shade or clouds. This was actually a beautiful trail with lake views and even bridges. I’m still not sure why bridges make me so happy. There were hills but I was able to briskly (for me) walk up them. There was a rocky section but it wasn’t very technical and there were no mean roots. It did get hot towards the end but I never got nauseous. Well a little – but that was during the first 2 hours because we had leftover pizza for breakfast. You might want to pay close attention to the next sentence as it is full of hard earned advice. Never eat pizza for breakfast on race day. I find it works well for me to think the worse will happen then be pleasantly surprised.

#38 Foxy Trail

Brilliant – And single ladies, he was a nice guy

Not even a mile into the race I followed up my pizza breakfast with a bug chaser. It made me gag but wouldn’t come out even though Tim stopped to whack me on the back. All this talk about how healthy it is to get out in nature doesn’t fool me. I know that nature is just as likely to drop a rock on your head (or a bug in your mouth) as it is to give you a spiritual experience. That said, I actually enjoy trail running more than road running.

I'd rather see this on TV - just kidding

I’d rather see this on TV – just kidding

This was one of the most beautiful races we have done. The course was a, sort of, out and back. The return trip covered some of the same trail and some new parts as well. I was slow enough to see the front runners fly by. The first guy was so fast and elegant that I just stopped and watched him run. I didn’t lose much time on that one – he was out of my sight in about 4 seconds. After the turn around there was a different trail for a while that then merged with the first trail. Tim must have been on the turn around trail before it merged, because I didn’t see him coming back. ūüôĀ Much of the trail was shady which I love but poses a unique problem for me. About 16 years ago I had 2 detached retinas and I now have very little depth perception so everything looks slightly off of where it really is. Shadows make this way worse for me because I can’t quickly read the terrain. There was only one rocky section where I had to slow way down, otherwise this was a very smooth trail. It sounds like my eyes would make me hate trail running but it is the opposite. I enjoy the deep focus I have to have on trails. It’s a meditative experience for me. OK, maybe running in nature can be a spiritual experience. In fact, beware – embarrassing woo woo confession ahead – sometimes when I need energy I will put my hands on a tree and ask for help. Don’t make fun of me until you try it – it works.

#38 Foxy Trail

I have trouble distinguishing shadows from rocks or holes

I tried a new hand held this race and loved it. I usually carry a 12oz, this time I carried a 20oz. I only had to refill it once and didn’t even finish my water. I have 2 goals before this adventure is over. One of them is to run a HM without stopping to walk (9 miles is my current longest) and the other is to break 2:30 for my time. This means taking almost 7 minutes off my fastest time. I think my new handheld will help me at least take a couple seconds off that each aid station stop. There are a few net downhill races in June that I am targeting for these goals.

#38 Foxy Trail

I love my new running gear

Close to the beginning (and end) was a fabulous bridge. I have no idea why running over a bridge gives me energy but it does. There is just something cool about running with air under the feet. I got excited when I saw the bridge in the distance and couldn’t wait to run on it.

I like tiny bridges as much (if not more) than larger bridges.

#38 Foxy Trail

You’re so cute

Tim likes signs almost as much as I like bridges.

#38 Foxy Trail

Not only did I not see any frogs – I didn’t even see this sign

This course was really well marked. My biggest fear during trail races is that I will get lost. During the race briefing the director said that some of the signs had been tampered with. I have heard of this happening at races before. What is wrong with people? Why would someone try to mess up a race by destroying trail markers? It sounds like he suspected mountain bikers. He warned runners about aggressive mountain bikers, saying, “They think they own the trail.” Most of the bikers I saw were very polite but there was a group of 3 who, it seemed, were trying to run runners off the trail. Tim knew exactly who I was talking about when I mentioned them after the race. Tim said he saw them almost run someone down, in front of him, so he stopped in the middle of the trail to tie his shoe. Damn – I love that man.

#38 Foxy Trail

Well done

Even though I faded in the last 3 miles, I was able to sprint in. Because of my asthma I usually cross the finish line wheezing and looking much worse than I actually am. This time it worked out in my favor because a very concerned looking person on the medical team lead me to a chair in the shade. One thing I liked about the race was that once you crossed the finish line and got your medal you went to a little table and got your t-shirt in a beer glass. And there was free beer. What I didn’t like about the after race was that they had no food. None. They had pizza that was supposed to be there at 10:30 but we left at 10:40 and there was still no pizza. I’m guessing the reason they did this was to encourage people to hang around for the awards ceremony. To be fair they did state this clearly on the website and recommended that fast runners bring a snack. Still, I question the wisdom of serving beer but not food. Come on Dirt Devil racing, how hard would it be to have some bananas available.

#38 Foxy Trail

Look closely – it’s a bird tree

Cons

  • Port-o-pots were not obvious and the park bathrooms ran out of toilet paper
  • No food at the finish line
  • Watch out for speedy mountain bikes

Pros

  • Close parking
  • Port-o-pots (once you found them) as well as park bathrooms
  • Very scenic
  • Well marked, well groomed trails
  • Bridges
  • Good beer (Lagunitas)
  • Frequent (for trail races) aid stations
  • Attentive medical personel
  • A ramada that allowed runners to get out of the sun

I loved this race. It came at the perfect time for me and reminded me of what I love about trail running. We have done some pretty gnarly trail HM’s so it was nice to be in a trail race that I could run instead of just survive. I would say this race is beginner friendly. It was well marked and had plenty of aid stations. Most of the course was very runnable. However, if you are a road runner who has never done a trail race this did have some pretty good rolling hills and a rocky section. Don’t expect to PR. Overall a well organized race with a beautiful scenic course. Just watch out for bikers and bring your own banana.

#38 Foxy Trail

I was beaten by a pregnant cow

And now for something totally un-running related. We love living in SD by the beach and Tim loves his new job. Life is good.

#38 Foxy Trail

This about sums up our new neighborhood

Please leave a comment.

#37 Hollywood Half Marathon

 

37 down only 15 to go.

So Big O Tires tried to kill us on the way to Hollywood last weekend. This race report almost didn’t happen because we barely made it to the expo in time to pick up our bibs before they closed. We sprinted into the expo with only minutes to spare. We got our bibs and as we were on our way to get our t-shirts they were shutting down and kicking everyone out. The woman at the t-shirt booth had to dig out a box she had put away to get Tim’s shirt. We got the breaks done at Big O in Pacific Beach on April 4th but didn’t drive the car (except a couple blocks home) until the following Friday. I think it is a bad idea to for a Saturday race to have no day of race packet pickup. Moist people work on Friday so it turns the event into a locals only race or an inconvenience. Tim took a half day off and we left at 1pm (expo closed at 7pm) so we would have time to check into our hotel and play at the expo. We were in the carpool lane, on interstate 5, when we started to hear some pretty scary noises coming from the back of the car. At first, we though it was someone else’s car because, of course, our car won’t make a noise like that. The noise got much worse very fast leaving no doubt that it was our car. Tim managed to get across 5 lanes of traffic (I closed my eyes) and take the next exit. He took off the tire to see if he could figure out what was wrong. I guess it was clear what was wrong. When they put our new breaks on they left out 2 bolts! [They didn’t bolt the left, rear caliper back on – Tim]. I don’t really understand any of this but Tim says the breaks could have seized and flipped the car. I know it was serious because when Tim called Big O they did everything they could to help us. They called a tow truck to haul us to the Big O in Carlsbad. The tow truck was pretty fast but by this time we were worried that we were not going to make the expo. We even started looking for last minute Sunday races. When we got to Carlsbad we found out the tow truck guy didn’t take credit cards so Tim had to run and find an ATM (Big O did reimburse us). The guy running the Big O in Carlsbad was a huge jerk. Right away he made clear that we were his lowest priority and that the only reason he was dealing with us at all was because he had to. He seemed to take a personal dislike towards us. It sounds paranoid but he was beyond rude. Maybe he didn’t like the looks of Tim (he was a no hair, Fox news type) or I looked like his ex-wife. I don’t know what his problem was but as soon as we realized that our car would not even be looked at for hours, Tim got on the phone to Big O in Pacific Beach and they set up a rental car for us. A woman from enterprise picked us up in Carlsbad and drove us to their Carlsbad office to pick up our rental car. The Enterprise office is south of the Big O in Carlsbad. We were going away from Hollywood. I almost screamed. Kudos for Enterprise for getting us out of there in record time. For once I didn’t complain about Tim driving too fast. Thanks to Tim’s skillful(?) driving and lack of traffic police, while we didn’t get to see the expo we did get our bibs, so we were able to run the race.

We stayed at the Budget Inn only a few blocks from the starting line. The hotel was a a little run down but the room was clean and more than half the price of everything else in the area. If you ever run this HM I recommend this place (room #108) for it’s price and location.

We found a little hole in the wall pizza place, Fat Tomato Pizza, for carb loading where we talked to a German couple who were also running. The pizza was great.

#37 Hollywood Half Marathon

My – Don’t I look smart – glasses

The race started at 6am so we set the alarm for 4:30am. Once we are finished with this project, I hope to never get up before the sun again. It’s a good thing we stayed so close to the start because Tim wore the wrong shoes and had to run back and change. It was a bit chilly so I had on my favorite flannel shirt and Tim had on a hoodie which we planned to leave at the bag check. Turns out that the bag check was at the finish line. How are you supposed to put your warm clothes in the bag check if it is at the finish line? Maybe they reasoned that people would want to put a change of clothes at the finish. Most races transport your bags to the finish if it isn’t a loop course. Anyways, Tim actually wore one of those crappy race backpacks with the string shoulder straps, stuffed with our warm clothes, for the entire race. Once again, I nominate him for husband of the year. I suggested ditching the clothes but it was his kung-fu hoodie and he knew it was one of my favorite shirts.

#37 Hollywood Half Marathon

I like the sign in back

Much like last weekend, this race had some great costumes. Unlike last weekend, that’s not all it had going for it. This race was actually well organized.

#37 Hollywood Half Marathon

Marilyn, I found a Marilyn for you

We stated in corrals which seemed to have nothing to do with finishing time but worked out well. I didn’t really see that much of the course because I was too busy chatting and people watching. It was all on pavement through the streets of Hollywood. There were plenty of fully stocked aid stations as well as port-o-pots on the course.

#37 Hollywood Half Marathon

Happy birthday – Have som pain and suffering

This course was a little convoluted and doubled back on itself a couple of times. Being the queen of getting lost I was a little worries when I saw the course map but there were so many people and such good traffic control that it was never an issue. I got to see Tim a couple of times. He must have been flying in the beginning because he was way ahead of me when I saw him the first time.

#37 Hollywood Half Marathon

Thanks for reminding everyone what’s really important

Another nice thing about this run was the music along the course. Live music is a great distraction. I liked the drummers so much that I ran back to get a picture but it turned out blurry. Luckily great minds think alike(really Sharon, cliches from someone with a Masters in creative-writing) and Tim got a couple unblurry pictures.

#37 Hollywood Half Marathon

I have seen people running with flags at quite a few races. They always pass me and it’s always awesome.

#37 Hollywood Half Marathon

Works the arms as well as the legs

The second time I saw Tim he didn’t seem to be as far ahead as he was the first time I saw him. I was afraid that he was having a problem with his a-fib and I found out later that I was right. It must have been very frustrating for him because he said that he felt great but every time he tried to run after mile 8 his heart rate would spike. I think it might have been caused by the stress of Friday.

How awesome is this guy? Tim took this picture. The sad thing is – I never even saw this guy. He was too far in front of me. I hope I’m still running in 25 years.

#37 Hollywood Half Marathon

I’m 77 and a half years old

Around mile 10 I smelt a major pot smell. Three guys were sitting on a bench passing a joint in daylight with a whole road full of runners passing them. I was in the middle of the road and could smell it clearly. I thought it was pretty bold given that there were cops all along the course. I think marijuana should be legal but not in public where everyone around you is affected (I feel the same way about cigarettes). It made me want to take a nap. “I’m going for a run”, said no one, ever, after smoking a joint.

I got a little nauseous during the last 3 miles and had to stop and walk (plus I was tired) but it was nothing like the last couple of weeks. I was able to put on a sprint and pass 3 people in the last 10 seconds before crossing the finish line. I like passing people too much.

#37 Hollywood Half Marathon

Check out our ninja weapon medals

Cons

  • Must get to expo before 7pm Friday to get bibs (hard on out of town, working people)
  • Drop bags at the finish line
  • Pricey ($125) for what you get
  • Shirts ran a little small
  • They ran out of small and medium shirts for women

Pros

  • 6am start (helped beat the heat)
  • Well organized
  • Fun vibe with costumes
  • Frequent aid stations
  • Iconic landmarks along course
  • Good traffic control
  • Music on the course
  • Cool medal
  • Emailed runners their time day after race

This race was a lot of fun. I would recommend it with the caveat that it seems a little spendy for what you get. We didn’t make it to the expo so maybe they had lots of freebies there. The shirt is wearable and they had a cool medal. The course was interesting in parts with good crowd support at the beginning and end. It was a little hilly but completely beginner and slow runner doable. A great place to dress up as your favorite movie character and not get weird looks. The runners made the race interesting. I could have put in many more pictures of costumes. At many races I have seen the sign – Worse parade ever – This race was actually a good parade.

Please click on comment to leave a comment. I love comments.

#36 Peace-Love-Run

 

36 down only 16 to go.

This race should have been called the Peace-Love-Chaos-Run. After last weeks poor, poor, pitiful me report, I was hoping to write a peace, love, great race report, this week, but alas, it was not to be. The website made it look so groovy, There was a long line at packet pickup. They mailed out the first 300 bibs but we still needed to get our shirts. Someone walked up and asked if they could pick up their shirt because they already had their bib. Yep – no need to stand in line if you already had your bib. We weren’t the only ones who got out of line. Thanks for telling us. The next problem was that they were completely out of tech shirts and only had cotton. This was not a problem for me because, at this point in my race shirt collection, I prefer a cotton shirt that I can wear in real life. However, I overheard a couple people (who had checked the tech shirt box on the registration form) who were pretty upset. I saw a lot of people wearing the shirt for the run. Oh dear – cotton shirt + heat = chafing. Someone who doesn’t know not to wear a cotton shirt for a HM is probably a new runner and a bad case of hamburger arms could turn someone off running forever. That said it was a great shirt with no sponsor logos all over the back. I will actually wear this shirt. In many ways this race reminded me of the St. Patrick‚Äôs Day Half Marathon. Both races had a theme and the runners who dressed up were the most interesting thing about the race.

#36 Peace-Love-Run

Damn hippies

The MC was doing his best to keep the crowd in the corrals entertained while waiting for the race to start. It wore thin quickly. The race started late. The MS’s forced enthusiasm took on a desperate edge as he tried to engage the crowd in banter, “Any Birthdays? No, any anniversaries?”. It was painful. Then when the race was ready to start he sent the HM out in 2 or 3 waves (it was too confusing to tell) but people had stopped listening to him for the most part and were so confused by the waves that some 10K people went out with the second wave of the HM. Like I said, peace, love and chaos. We tried to tell a woman who was in the 10k that she was in the HM crowd but she was sure that she was right because she had seen the first wave go and thought that was the HM. She told us so in tones suggesting how stupid we were. We tried.

#36 Peace-Love-Run

He tried so hard

This race had no port-o-pots (that I saw) at the start and instead relied on the park bathrooms. The bathroom had 2 stalls, one being a handicapped stall. It was not enough. They also ran out of toilet paper. They did have port-o-pots on the course and there were lines at all of them.

#36 Peace-Love-Run

I wish I would lose or forget this green shirt

The course itself was ok. THe harbor had a mild fishy smell but was pretty. The run was on a crowded bike path. Bikers are always a problem on these paths but this was much more of a family path so there were a lot of distracted kids on bikes and skates.

#36 Peace-Love-Run

I found the, “Backpack full of snacks” girl

Although this course was blissfully flat I had the same problems with heat as I did last week. After the first 2 hours every time I tried to run I got nauseous and had to walk (it didn’t help that they started late). I’m glad I had my own water because the turnaround aid station, at mile 11, was out of water. Out of water! I think this was the worse fuck up out of all the fuck ups that happened during this race because it was actually dangerous. Not everyone was running with a Camelback full of water. Did I mention how hot it was. There were almost 70 people who came in after me in a race of 420 (really!). That is a lot of people who needed water. It they get nothing else right a race needs to have enough water.

#36 Peace-Love-Run

Just look at that RUN smiley face

This race had some great volunteers but it also had the most amount of sullen teenage volunteers out of all the races we have done. And that is a lot of sullen teenagers. Even the aid stations that had water weren’t filling the cups fast enough so runners had to wait for water. At one aid station (the one without water) I overheard volunteers complaining about the heat. They were sitting in the shade. Did I mention this race had no shade but the overhangs at the aid stations? I should have sat on them to get a couple of seconds out of the sun.

#36 Peace-Love-Run

At least it was flat

Cons

  • Long disorganized line at packet pickup
  • Ran out of tech shirts
  • Not enough bathrooms or toilet paper
  • Started late
  • MC so unclear that some 10K people went out with the HM
  • Course was crowded with families and distracted kids
  • Confused volunteers sent some people around the loop twice (thankfully not us)
  • Aid station ran out of water

Pros

  • Nice shirt
  • Nice Medal
  • Fun hippy costumes
  • Good varity of after race food
  • Emailed results the same day
#36 Peace-Love-Run

Awesome!

This race was a mess. Really – get it together before someone collapses from dehydration. I didn’t write about volunteers sending peole around the course twice because I only heard about it afterwards. We ate at Woodstocks (my favorite SD pizza place) and I talked to a guy who ended up running more than 14 miles. He said that he was not the only one that volunteers misdirected. So unless you have a desperate need for a hippy shirt and medal, I would not recommend this race for anyone. I think the hippy theme was appropriate because the race appears to have been organized by the highest people in California.

#36 Peace-Love-Run

Motivation???

Please leave a comment, I’ll leave a response.

#35 Chino Hills

 

35 down only 17 to go.

This race was the first time during a HM that I felt truly tired of this whole project and wished it was over. I have done harder races (FOURmidable, The Enchanted Forest Wine Run) that were more physically challenging but this race was a mental low for me. It started off hard and just got harder.

My favorite thing about this race was getting a sleeveless T-shirt. This is the first race where we have gotten a sleeveless T-shirt. I think most runners do most of their running in a singlet.

It was chilly at 7am but warmed up quickly. Instead of taking my long sleeve to the car I put it behind the registration table. I promised myself I wouldn’t forget it. This is the 3rd shirt I have lost this way. I had this shirt less than 3 weeks.

#35 Chino Hills

Goodbye shirt – our time together was too short

I walked almost from the start. It quickly became apparent to me that I was still feeling weak from being sick last week (whatever was wrong with me started Friday night and I didn’t feel like myself until Wednesday morning). I hate feeling weak. I just couldn’t run for very long without walking.

I don’t want to write a long negative, poor poor pitiful me race report but I also want to be true to my experience so I am going to write a long negative, poor poor pitiful me paragraph that sums up my race.

#35 Chino Hills

It never looks as steep in the photo

What really slayed me was the heat. By the second half of the race I couldn’t even run without feeling nauseous. I was also having trouble breathing because of the dust. Dust is always a problem at the back of the pack in a trail race but other runners were the least of the problem. The real dust was from the many mountain bikers that went screaming by. That was not only dusty but scary. This race also featured steep climbs and descents, being chased by biting flies, mud, misinformation at the aid station, almost no shade, not enough water, and I was running by myself for most of the race (most people were way ahead but a few were behind me).

Even though I had a hard time physically (nausea, asthma attack from the dust, heat exhaustion, etc.) the worst thing about this race was that I allowed myself to get into a negative headspace. I know that no good can come from allowing my mind to go to its dark place during a race but I was out there having a one woman pity party. I was having such a good time at this party that I continued it after the race with an internal dialog, (I’m fat, I’m weak, What the hell am I doing this for? I’m tired, maybe I’m too old for this shit, who needs to run up a mountain anyways? etc., etc.) that soon had me telling myself to shut the fuck up and chill out. The big lesson here is not to let my negative mind spiral out of control. I felt just as ill and tired the week before and I was able to do what needed to be done with a minimum of drama.

Note to self: Do not give in to self indulgent whining that only depletes the body of much needed energy.

#35 Chino Hills

Yay downhill

The wonderful volunteers at the last aid station took a look at me and gave me a chair in the shade. Another volunteer got me ice. Thank you very much. However, I also got some misinformation that made the second half of my race even harder because I was expecting something else. A volunteer told me that the last 6 miles of the race were all downhill and shady. It was mostly downhill (but by no means all) but there was almost no shade. Please – if you are a volunteer make sure you know what you are taking about.

#35 Chino Hills

Looking back fondly at the downhill

With all the dust and heat I couldn’t help but worry about Tim. He is allergic to dust and heat is a major trigger for his a-fib. In the distance I saw him sitting on the ground talking to a bicyclist. I totally forgot that he sometimes comes out on the course to encourage me across the finish line. Maybe because my mind had been hanging out in the dark side for the last couple hours, I panicked, thinking he had been hit by a bike or was sitting under the tree because his a-fib was acting up. I was so worried that I was able to run up to him. But no – he was there to make sure I was OK and had even brought me a bottle of water. Somehow I managed to stop walking and actually run across the finish line. I’m glad I did because the photographer (Skip Rodgers) was selling the photos, for a donation of any amount, as a fundraiser to buy iPad Minis for his 4th grade classroom. What a great cause and I love Tim’s photo.

After the race all I could keep down was a sprite. I tried some potato salad about half an hour later but my tummy still said, no. Tim was wonderful. He reads me pretty well and could tell how gone I was. Shortly after getting me a sprite he went to the car and got our dry clothes. I was so exhausted that I had to sit on the toilet to change out of my sweaty, wet clothes. It took me about 10 minutes. I felt wrung out for the next couple of days. How ridiculous is it to get heat exhaustion in March! I’m worried that we are going to be in for some hot races before the end of July.

#35 Chino Hills

I’ve had better runs

Cons

  • We heard it was 20° hotter than average
  • Dust from scary fast mountain bikes
  • Aid station misinformation (it was not shady)

Pros

  • Beautiful course (so I am told)
  • Sleeveless shirt that I will actually wear
  • Left out gallons of water after last aid station
  • Very nice medal
  • Nice after race food spread
  • Photos for a donation to benefit his classroom (he emailed a thank you)
  • Well organized

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Oddly enough I would recommend this race. I would not recommend the HM for anyone who is new to trail running but they also had a 10K that had quite a few first time trail runners. If you don’t mind some climbs and eating some mountain bike dust this is a beautiful, well maintained course. This race was well organized and had a great food spread including hamburgers, hot dogs, and salmon burgers on the grill. Maybe it won’t be so hot next year.

#35 Chino Hills

comment (please)