Race RecapS: Yes I said “RecapS”

So how do you stay on a training routine and still partake in the enjoyments of races? Sign up for 2 distance races on the same weekend! I took January off to focus on training, and as February rolled around I am still focused on training, but I am jumping into races to give me the rush of the race along with the mileage I need for training in preparation of the upcoming Honda LA Marathon on March 17. This week I was fortunate enough to get my running mileage to 80 miles by adding in the Jed Smith Ultras Classic 30k on Saturday and the Davis Stampede Half Marathon on Sunday. To make sure I still got the training mileage that I needed I turned the 30k into a 33k (which made it 20.5 miles) and the 13.1 miles on Sunday morning to 14 miles.
With my 2 races this past weekend my training calendar looked as follows:
Jan. 28 Monday – 10.02 miles easy (7:54/mi)
Jan. 29 Tuesday – 10.13 miles total; 1 mile warm-up, 4 x 1.5 miles (10:05 – 6:43/mi, 10:14 – 6:50/mi, 10:14 – 6:50/mi, 10:20 – 6:53/mi) w/ .5 mile recovery, 1.13 mile cool down.
Jan. 30 – 5 miles easy (7:50/mi)
Jan. 31 – 10.02 miles total; 1 mile warm up (8:06), 8 mi. tempo (55:23 / 6:55 per mile pace), 1 mile cool down (8:46)
Feb. 1 – 12.31 miles easy (7:44/mi)
Feb. 2 – 20.5 miles total – 30k Jed Smith Ultras + 3km
Feb. 3 – 14.05 miles total – Davis Stampede Half Marathon + .95 miles

Race Recap #1 – Jed Smith Ultras Classic (30k, 50k, 50 miler) 
the first race bib of 2013
This is the first time I have ever attended this run, which I am ashamed to say because of the fact that is hosted by my own running club (Buffalo Chips Running Club). Along with it being managed by Buffalo Chips, it is timed by Capital Road Race Management, who is hands down one of the best companies in the business. Upon arrival on Saturday morning for my packet pick-up, the 50-mile group was already out on the course and the 50k group was just getting to the start line. The entrance of the American River access at Watt Ave. was lined up with cars of friends and family members crewing for various runners in the 50-mile and 50k group. This alone brought a lot of energy to the race.
Once I finally got into the staging area of the start/finish line for all distances the packet pick-up was clearly marked. Volunteers had everything organized on picking up numbers and getting the technical shirt that was included with the registration. Even before even getting into the staging area, each runner was welcomed with a parking pass for the American River Parkway access ($5).
The 18.6 miles was the perfect distance to do some marathon day simulating in regards to fueling techniques and comfort of race day attire for the Honda LA Marathon. The course was pretty simple, it started headed east approximately 2 miles out on the south side of the American River, then heading back for approximately 2 miles before crossing the first set of timing mats which lead us west towards the Guy West Bridge at CSU Sacramento. After crossing the bridge the course took us east on the north side of the American River back towards the Watt Ave. Bridge, where we crossed to head back towards the start/finish mats. Each loop was about 4.9 miles (repeated 3 times for the 30k distance) and had runners running a few rolling grounds on gravel, a little dirt, grass, and pavement. Most climbs occurred just before crossing each of the two bridges. The course was clearly marked, easy to follow and had marshals helping to direct runners at every major crossing. Along the course aid stations were well supplied with GU, water, and electrolytes.
Treating this “race” as a training run, I was very well pleased with my run. Going into the race, I wanted to run steady and comfortable for the first few laps and then kick it into goal marathon pace for the final lap (4.9 miles). I was able to run the final 4.9 miles at a 7:04/mi pace completing the 30km at a total time of 2:19:16 (7:28/mi pace). With this finish I did well enough to win my age group and receive a little extra bonus winners prize, a travel coffee mug that read ‘I ran far, I ran fast’ . 
a little AG winner swag!

Race Recap #2 – Davis Stampede Half Marathon
bib #2 for 2013 was added quickly
The race recap for the Davis Stampede starts with the packet pick up on Friday February 1… what a big cluster of unorganized messes in regards to not making sense. If the race were a first year race, I would understand, but this Davis Stampede was the 31st running of the race, and is managed and timed by A Change of Pace, which throws several races through the year. Perhaps the most irritating thing upon arrival was standing in a single line when there were signs hanging with letters of the alphabet for pick up. Why would the group hang these signs to make people go to the letter of their last name, only to be told please make one line?  The second issue I have with this particular race is the “technical shirt upgrade option”. They charge an extra $6 to upgrade from the free cotton race shirt to a technical shirt. Honestly, I would rather have the registration fee be $6 more and get the technical shirt as part of the registration instead of having the “option to upgrade”. Personally, I feel that when events do this, it feel like they are ‘nickel and diming’ through the event… ever been charged for bread at a restaurant before your meal? In more cases than none, the answer is no because they build the cost into the menu. Change of Pace group just build it into the cost, people will still sign up for your race even if it is $6 more.
Come race morning, the Davis Stampede is much better organized when it comes to the actual race. I know there are certain things that are out of people’s controls but some of the mile markers where stolen off the course, this obviously is out of their control, however I would recommend that mile markers should be placed out there with someone to watch them (ie. course marshals). Once the race itself got going there was nothing to complain about, the course was well marked with chalk / tape along the roads like most other road races. There were plenty of aid stations and awesome volunteers cheering the runners on.
runners love the bling!
Just after 8:00 am the race started and took runners along Downtown Davis roads before heading back into pedestrian trails through various communities and neighborhoods. This went for a number of miles before heading onto so graveled pathways and heading back into paved pedestrian trails and finally back through the Downtown Davis streets. The course was mostly flat except for a freeway overpass around mile 10. Upon crossing the finish line half marathon runners were welcomed with a nice piece of runner bling. The finish line was well organized with arrows pointing out the 5k, 10k, and ½ marathon finishing gates. 
Overall the race was a great day of event, but still needs some upgrading in their pre-race organizing. 
Did you race this weekend? How did your race(s) go?

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