Sunday, June 4, 2017

SoCal Wine Country Women’s Half Marathon Recap!

I would like to start out by saying that when I signed up for this half marathon I actually did not realize it was a trail race. I just saw that it was a women's only race and it had free wine at the end. With that being said, I actually don't like trail running. I mean, when I was a kid we would run around in the woods all day long unless it was winter or hunting season. But back then it was fun and we didn't time ourselves ;)  
This was not my first trail race, I ran a Ragnar Trail back in September and a few other trail 5k's and 10K's. But this was my first trail half.   
This race was held out at Vail Lake Resort in Temecula. 

Here is my flat mama for the race. I like to get everything together the night before a race so that I am prepared for the morning.  

It was about a 30 minute drive to get to the race and this time I was solo.  That was OK with me since I did not know how long it would take me to run the race. 

After a few announcements the race started at 7am.  I actually was supposed to meet a fellow MRTT gal(Jenna) there but due to no cell phone reception we didn't actually get to meet up before the race. 

The course started out just a little bit on a paved road to get to the actual trail. I think I was about a mile in when I heard someone call my name from behind. Sure enough it was Jenna. Luckily I told her what I was going to be wearing and she spotted me. We actually had never met before the race but we ran together for this race. It was so nice to have someone to talk to and take pictures with along the way. This was a long race and having Jenna to run with made it so much better than running alone.

The course was rolling up and down hills and then we came up on this beast. 
It was a very steep down hill descent.  Luckily it was a short hill and of course we were very careful so that we didn't fall. And on our way back we got to climb up this bad boy. 

Here is my mapmyrun stats for the elevation for this race. This course was a mix of rocks, sand and dirt. It had single tracks and wider tracks. We also heard a few rattle snakes along the way. And actually one gal behind us saw one, somehow we didn't see it and that was ok with me.  

The race website actually gives a really good description of the race. 

We had some amazing views of Temecula and the wine country it possesses.  It was hard to actually run continuously because I wanted to stop and take pictures every few hundred yards because it was just to beautiful.  

I think the hardest part of this race was the last 5 miles. We basically had to run out along the ridge that overlooks Vail Lake and back. It felt like the course went on and and on and finally at the top of a hill there was the water stop at the turn around point. This was by far my favorite water stop because it was so needed. We even got scoops of ice to disperse on our bodies where ever we needed it. And we sure did have some amazing view of the lake. 

Overall, it was a great course.  It did get to be pretty hot out there so I definitely took advantage of all the water stops and had some GU along the way. I think I finished in just over 3 hours. I was kinda hoping to finish in 2:30- 2:45 but I ended up walking a lot more than I though I would.  Also, I may have gotten caught up in talking and taking pictures more that once. 

I am not sure if I will do this race again only because I don't exactly like trail running. However, if you do like trail running and are a woman, this is the race for you. The trail was everything you could ever want in a trail and of course the race swag is pretty sweet too. We got a really nice medal that was made of cork, really nice shirts and of course a wine glass.  At the finish line they had free subway and wine for all participants. 

I think the best part of this race is that some friends who used to live in Minnesota but moved to Arizona were in San Diego and met me at the finish line. They both ran the San Diego Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon today(Sunday). It was so good to see them and to catch up. They actually helped me get started running way back in 2012. 

Now that I have ran 3 races 3 weekends in a row, I am going to take this coming weekend off from racing and run with the MRTT girls. However, June 17th I am running in the San Diego County Fair 5k.
This will be my first time running a county fair race and I am super excited. Sorry for the long post, have a great rest of your Sunday!


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Memorial Day 5K Recap!

This was the 5th Anniversary of this race! And since I just moved here it was my first time running it.  I decided to run just the 5k to see where I am at as far as my race pace. Also I just finished running a half marathon last weekend and have another one this coming weekend! .
I haven't ran just a 5k since last July when I ran the Nuthouse Challenge. I will blog about that soon!
This was a local race and that meant local packet pick up! Score! The packet pick up was held at the Running Center in Temecula. It is about a 20 minute drive from my house. Actually, traffic was terrible that day and it took just a little longer. 
The Running Center was offering 20% off store wide that day, which was awesome! I have always wanted a running belt. I have tried out the Tube waist band thing, but I did not like how thick it was.  So I splurged on a Nathan Belt! 

 I haven't had a chance to try it out on a run yet, but I will soon! 

This race was held at Diamond Valley Lake Park in Hemet.  It was about a 30 minute drive for me. And that morning it was super foggy out, like almost zero visibility. But as soon as I got a few miles down the 215 Freeway the fog lifted and the sun came out!

I arrived at the parking lot with just enough time to meet up with my MMM girls and use the bathroom. Then it was go time!  This race has a family who lost their loved one in the military so they got to start off the race. Then the 10k runners took off and about 5 minutes later we (5k runners) could go.  This was a rather flat and easy course. I was feeling great, but kind of saving my energy for the last mile. And I use Mapmyrun during my runs in order to know how far I have ran and how much distance is left.

Well it so happens that there were a few volunteers who were not in their correct spot and so along with the first 50 or so runners, I finished the race clocking in only 2.5 miles. Yep, we were supposed to turn somewhere and go on a dirt path, but for some reason there wasn't a volunteer to tell us where to go. So I saved my energy and didn't get to use it. Don't get me wrong, I ran hard, but I surely could have ran harder. 

Which brings me to say I came in at 21:37 and missed 3rd place in my age group by 16 seconds.  I think if I would have ran the full 5k distance I would have PR'd this race. Which is awesome, but that didn't happen.  So I will have to find another flat 5k to sign up for! And I plan on running this one again next year!