"We run when we're scared, we run when we're ecstatic, we run away from our problems and run around for a good time." Christopher McDougall (Born to Run)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Recent Races: Mt. Diablo Trail Adventure 10K Race and New Year's Eve 10K Race

During the past three months since the Half Moon Bay marathon I have been taking it easy, but I have been getting outside to run here and there, and I even ran two 10K races. After completing the marathon I wanted to let my body rest, enjoy my weekends, and take a break from training for a little while. That said, I didn't want to completely lose the level of fitness that I gained during the past year.

After a month went by, I found that without an upcoming race scheduled, I had lost some of my motivation to log more miles both during the week and on the weekends. During marathon training I had avoided doing steep trails and focused on logging miles on flat surfaces. But now I had the freedom to sign up for anything, without fearing that it would disrupt my training. So I decided I would sign up for a a few local and low-key trail races to finish out 2011.

Brazen Mt. Diablo Trail Adventure 10K
On November 6, 2011 I ran in the Mt. Diablo Trail Adventure 10k (6.2 miles) race. In advance of the race I emailed a few of my friends who enjoy running. Come race day, my husband and four friends, and one of those friend's daughter participated in either the 10k or the 5k race! Below is a picture of all of us from after the race.
The route included two steep ascents with two equally steep descents. The route was entirely on dirt packed trails and was absolutely beautiful. My friend Julie and I ran together, and she ended up really helping me to push my pace faster. She and I finished at the same time and we both placed third in our age groups (we are a few years apart)!!! I actually thought I placed fourth in my age group but when I checked the race results page they updated the information and it listed me as being in third place! That was first time I've ever gotten a medal in a race! Below is a link to my Garmin information for the race.
Brazen New Year's Eve 10K at Lake Chabot 
The last race that I ran in 2011 was the Brazen Racing New Year's Eve 10K race at Lake Chabot. This race was also a steep trail run, but a portion of it was on paved walking trails. The route included one long climb from mile 2 through mile 3.5, followed by an equally steep descent from mile 3.5 through 5. 

This time I was again joined by some great friends. My husband ran the 10k with me, our neighbors and friends ran the half marathon race, and my friend who ran the Mt. Diablo 5k with her daughter, came back for this race and ran in the 5K again with her daughter. Below is my Garmin information for the race. This time I ended up placing ninth out of 41 runners (no medal) in my age group.

Recap on Half Moon Bay Marathon - September 25, 2011

On September 25, 2011 I ran in the inaugural Half Moon Bay International Marathon, and finished!  It is still hard for me to believe that I finally completed a full marathon, and I am still really thankful that I was able to do it considering the issue I had with my Peroneal tendons.  I am also thankful that I was able to fit in my long training runs and that I never had any real disasters during training, except for one long run where I definitely had an electrolyte imbalance and mild heat exhaustion.   It has taken me about six weeks to finally sit down and write a post, but here it is.

Night Before

The night before we went to the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company and I had a grilled chicken sandwich with french fries, and a small 12 oz beer in honor of my husband's birthday that day (September 24). My husband had the beer sampler, which looked delicious. After dinner, back in our hotel room, I had some Annie's Honey Bunny Grahams and dipped them in peanut butter - pretty delicious.  We watched some half-decent movie on cable in the hotel room and then went to bed around 9:30 p.m.

Morning of the Race

My memory is getting a little foggy now on the details, but I believe that I got out of bed at around 5 a.m. the morning of the race. I took a hot shower, and had coffee, a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich on white bread, and probably a few other small items (likely a few Annie's Honey Bunnies Grahams), and drank some water.

I filled my CamelBak with Gu Brew for the race.  I was worried about my electrolyte balance since I experienced some problems with that on one of my longest run (discussed in a prior post).  I also packed Gu Energy Gels, Espresso Love and Vanilla Bean, which tastes like cake batter, yum!  The race started at 7:00 a.m., so we started walking to the starting line from the hotel around 6:30 a.m.

Photo taken a few minutes before the race started.

The setting of the course was absolutely beautiful. The majority of the course was on dirt packed trails along the coast.  The beginning of the course had a grouping of small steep hills, probably starting at around mile 2.3 through mile 9.  Then the course was flat until about mile 16 or 17, at which point there was another grouping of hills around the Ritz Carlton.  Below is information about the course from my Garmin watch, followed by a few photos of the course.

View of the course looking south right after the race started.

I finished in 4 hours and 28 minutes, with a 10:14 minute mile average pace.  I had hoped to run closer to a 10:00 minute mile, but in the end I was happy to have finished.  Below is a shot of me crossing the finish line!

I didn't experience any pain (or if any very slight) in my ankle or in my hips during the race, which was great.  At one point I think I twisted my ankle, but it did not hurt until after I finished the race.  I was limping the rest of the day after the race and the following day, but after putting my entire foot in an ice bath the following evening, the pain completely went away!!  All-in-all, it was a really successful race!