Race Report: Davis Moo-nlight 5k

Last week I ran my first race in nearly 4 months, so what do I do as an encore? Run another 5k one week later of course. This time I took on an evening run in Davis, CA at the Moo-nlight 5k, 10k, 10-mile, and half marathon put on by A Change of Pace. Unlike 99% of other races that I participate in this one starts of at 7:15PM for the 5k, the other distances started at 7PM. So you can only imagine how hot it was if you were anywhere near the Sacramento or Davis area this past weekend. For those that weren’t it was about 97 degrees at start time.

Before I get into the race day experience I had grand ideas of blasting the race management on some of the pre-race organizational experiences I had along with other people around me during the race day packet pick-up. However rather than blasting them, I want to celebrate the run, the fact that I am fortunate enough to partake in races like last night and experience running on a day to day basis. Running is a gift and a few bumps in the road at a packet pick-up shouldn’t derail me from the enjoyment of lacing up the shoes for a race. That feeling is once again enjoyable for me. If you didn’t read my blog post from last week’s race check it out: Race Report: No Excuses 5k.

So I decided jumping into this race sometime mid-week when I saw it online that the race was scheduled for Saturday July 8. I had previously run this event at the half-marathon distance about 4 years ago, so I knew about it as a past participant. On Saturday morning, I saw the 9RUN6 homie Run BMC and he decided to join into the run as well.

Around 5:30PM I made my way to Brian’s (BMC) residence, picked him up and we were then headed off to Davis, about a 25 minute drive West of Downtown Sacramento. Upon arrival we ran into Kevin, another 9RUN6 crew member, who was there to pace the 1:30 half-marathon group. Along with running for 9RUN6 Kevin runs for Golden Valley Harriers (GVH), who provides the pacing for many of the Change of Pace events.

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Once we got to the packet pick-up it was like a hurry up and wait type of thing, but isn’t that how all race day events typically end up being. Get there early to wait ….

So the waiting game continued one the bib was pinned to the singlet and the gear was checked into the gear check area.

Right before the start of the half-marathon, 10-mile and 10k groups, Brian and I took for a slow and easy warm-up, though to be honest warming up probably wasn’t really needed since we were warm from being outdoors, but nonetheless it provided to kill some time for us. As we rounded back around to the start line area, the 5k group was called into the shoot for the start of the 5k.

Boom, we were off! The course had a lot of twist and turns for the short distance, about 22 different turns from left to right and right to left. Along with battling the heat, the twist and turns, there was the variations of surfaces going from cement, pavement, and crushed gravel trails. Check out the Relive video below of the twisting and turning along the run.

So after the crossing of the finish line with an official time of 20:48 (approx. 6:37/mile), I headed to give the fist bumps with BMC who crossed the line at 18:59, We then found out that he finished 5th overall and I had finished 8th overall, with a 1-2 finish in our 35-39 age division.

Now for the negative complaint of mine regarding the age group finishes … The website states the following:IMG_4274

So I guess age group awards weren’t really clearly stated? But anyways, previous Change of Pace races did award top 3 in each age group. So Brian and I headed to where the computers were set up to check out final times, and the only person there stated they didn’t have age group awards, though that part stated above makes one wonder did they not order the age group awards? Otherwise why even bother listing anything about age group awards?

Okay enough about the age group awards…

We did enjoy a post race beverage courtesy of Sudwerks which was located just down the street, at the race they offered two of the beers they had on tap in the area next to the live band.

While throwing back a beverage, Brian and I noticed that the half marathon clock was getting close to the 1:30:00 mark so we headed back towards the course standing near the 13 mile marker. We clapped people in, who were looking pretty upset, probably because of the heat.

We saw Kevin coming in but noticed he was about 4 minutes behind the clock, so a bit concerned we went over to him as he crossed the area. Come to find out the course was long … which threw off all of the pacers and the splits.

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Even with the longer half-marathon course, Kevin and all of participants in yesterday’s race did a fantastic job battling the heat and the other uncontrollable conditions.

After the race, which was odd finishing after dinner time, we opted to grab some bites in Downtown Davis before heading back to Sacramento. So there it was my 2nd race in a matter of 7 days after taking 4 months off of any races.

Race Report: No Excuses 5k

So about 8 weeks ago, I decided to sign up for a race. At that point in my running, I had not run a race since March, looking for something to run that I could “train” for put me at the No Excuses 5k. I have ran this race before and have run very well at this race, about 3 years ago, this same race was the first 5k where I ran a sub 20 minute. The race offers a fast course with some fast runners. Pretty much any race in Sacramento that is part of the Buzz Oates Run Sac Race Series will offer some fast runners in the race as teams and individuals try to collect points for overall standings.

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The one unique thing about this specific race is that it isn’t about just the order in which you cross the finish line, but it is about the age graded algorithm which makes it an even playing field as the finishing times are based on age and gender with the individuals specific finish time. For example a runner in the their early 20s may cross the finish line first, but a runner in their 60s who has a good time like an 18 minute may leapfrog that first place 20 year old in the final standings. For a breakdown of how this all works check out the final standings HERE.

Let’s rewind back a few weeks ago when I decided to “race” this race. I knew I wasn’t near my 5k shape that I was 3 years back when knocking out sub 19s were pretty regular after running my first sub 20 at this same race. Not having really trained for anything over the last 6 months, my goals were pretty lofty to try to run a sub 20. I’ll be honest, my mileage was up there (50-60 a week), but my motivation to run tempos, intervals, and marathon pace just wasn’t there. I had to get back to just enjoy running for what it was and getting some workouts in with friends.

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I started training by inviting some friends to do some “Tuesday Track Workouts” with me, this was enjoyable getting back out to run on a dirt track at 5AM every Tuesday with 2-3 people. This was part of the enjoyment of running I was missing, people around me to indirectly keep my running honest. Then I started mixing in some Thursday tempo runs, not marathon tempo workouts, but setting some times for 20-25 minutes of tempo work which had me breathing hard after getting those miles in during the middle of a run. Saturdays included some longer runs and some Sundays I would run 5-6 “hard miles”, which had me running solo as they were to be at a pace where I wouldn’t be able to hold a conversation.

Hitting 200s and 400s were enjoyable once again for the Tuesday Track workouts, the long easy with friends was enjoyable. This is what I was looking for, this is what I was missing in my running, this is what would jump start me into going after bigger and better things … well I hope it would.

So the last 8 weeks the biggest thing that came out of “training” for a race, wasn’t so much the speed and the excitement of racing again, it was the excitement of being excited to run and train again! I really loved getting to hit the pavement, the track or the trails, it was all enjoyable once again. Before even toeing the line on Saturday morning, this race and the journey to it after signing up was already a win in my book!

Now, let’s get to the race day. I shot Kevin a text message asking him if he wanted to grab a ride with me since I was heading out to Land Park (where the race was being held), he said “yes”, so I headed over the couple blocks to pick him up.

When we got to the packet pick-up area, I got a text from another one of my Tuesday Track homies, Alexia, though she wasn’t racing she was running in that area and joined in on the warm-up around Land Park.

Getting my warm-up in, I was headed to the start line where I saw plenty of familiar faces, many of them who I hadn’t seen in a while because I just hadn’t been racing. This was fun to see all these people, I really did miss all of this, but most importantly I was again excited to be in the environment of a race. I just had no interest in the last few months to sign up for anything, and I didn’t miss it. So being away from races since March was something that I needed to do.

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The goal I sought for this race day had a couple parts to it, run sub 20 and run consistent miles. Mile 1 came around and I felt good with a 6:30, Mile 2 then came about and I ran slower than that I wanted with a 6:38, my final mile was 6:33, which brought me to a fairly consistent run, though these times were not good enough to run a sub 20 as I finished with an official time of 20:22. Though I didn’t hit my time goal for this race, I know the process to coming back to finding my enjoyment in running is well worth the disappointment of not hitting my time marks.

After the race I saw the Birthday Boy Steve from the 9RUN6 crew who hit a 30 second personal best in the run. We also saw Courtney running around the area.

Running with Team SIS

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I am honored and excited to announce I have been invited to join the Science in Sport (SIS) team. Yesterday I received my welcome to the team care package from SIS. They will be taking care of me for the next year with my training and race day nutritional needs from performance gels both with and without caffeine and recovery soy based drink. Their products don’t have all the added junk sugar which typically upsets my stomach so I am happy to be part of a team that I truly believe in and products that I will use in training and on race days.

A little bit more about SIS from their website:

Our Beliefs

We believe that the most sophisticated piece of sports equipment you’ll ever own is your body. If you don’t put high performance sports nutrition in, you won’t get your full potential out.

Our range of products are researched and developed by sports scientists in conjunction with international athletes. This scientific research underpins everything we do to ensure that all our products meet the exacting standards of Informed Sport. This means that everything we do and every personal best you achieve with us, is FUELED BY SCIENCE.

I recommend checking out their website for more information at http://www.scienceinsport.com/us.  As far as products are concerned I recommend their SIS Isotonic Energy Gels and SIS Isotonic Energy Gels + Caffeine along with their REGO Recovery

.

 

Race Recap: Blue Diamond Shamrock’n Half Marathon

The Blue Diamond Shamrock’n half marathon is one of those local favorites made up of some of the local fast runners to the first time halfers. Having participated for a number of years now, I really enjoy the course that has changed over the years but always incorporates starting and finishing in or around Raley Field in West Sacramento. 

In the past few years I have had specific goals in mind when running the event, either running for a specific time, personal best or assisting in the race by pacing a friend to a personal best. This years race was a little different. I can honestly say, the race wasn’t part of a biggger picture training plan or anything related to finishing a specific time. This year was just about running it, I will be the first to admit that when the Pony Express Marathon was cancelled back in February, all of my training fell off. When I originally was looking at this race it was supposed to be a tune up half for the April marathon, but that all changed in February. So this time around it was one of those let’s hope to finish in a respectable way. Only the 13.1 would really determine that. 

I didn’t make a trip to the pre race packet pick up, but rather did the pick up at the morning of the race. After a quick stop to pick up Run BMC we were headed off to Raley Field for the race. There we pulled into the free parking at the stadium grounds then proceeded into getting the swag. BMC already had his so, he was just along for the trip to the pick up tents with me. 

The dark green tech shirt is what accompanied the bib, free beer band, and other race information. With all of the goodies in hand it was just a matter of time before we would head to the start line and get ready to run another half marathon. 

Like most other races it only took a few miles to figure out this race wasn’t going to be one for the ages, but was I really a surprised? The answer is, No! However the first 3 miles were somewhat decent as BMC and I ran between 7:40-7:30 per mile. Just after mile 3 I yelled to BMC and told him I’m hitting the toilet and for him to keep moving. He did, I stopped, but not my watch. Yes watches shouldn’t be stopped during races. 

With time lost along with some of the previous nights meal, it was about finishing and having a good time. A few miles down the road I saw Ethan and Alexia along the course cheering runners on. Here Ethan asked me about my recent rest room stop. 

As the route moved into the final stretch from Land Park back to downtown, I saw 3 parts of Fit Fam 6. There we talked about poop, yes that’s when you know you’re at a running event when poop is part of the conversation. Apparently BMC told all of our common friends along the route that I had to poop. So rather than denying it, I embraced my human side and confirmed yes in fact I did stop to poop at a Port-O-Let. 

So there we are crossing the finish line inside Raley Field in West Sacramento. A final count of just under 1:44:00 averaging about 7:50/mi pace. 

Another smile at the finish line and excitement and reminder for me to go after the next one. 

Race Recap: Sac Beer Week 5k

The Sac Beer Week 5k has been an event that has been going for a couple of years now. This last weekend was my first go at the event hosted by Sloppy Moose Running Club and Sacramento Beer Week. The 5k draws people from all experiences of running, from fast racing club members to the casual social 5k’er.

Before the race people get there pretty early, compared to other 5k’s. The 5k is unlike most other races, as it prides itself on an event as well. The event side of the race is very well organized. With beers pouring at New Helvetia and various vendors along the closed street, this is an event that everyone should put on their calendar for years to come. Not to mention that the race starts later in the day, with an 11AM start this allows people to sleep in and still enjoy a race without having to get up super early to get race ready.

The 5K loop takes participants around the Land Park neighborhood. Starting at New Helvetia the route runs west on Broadway then turning left onto Land Park Drive. The course continues with another left on 11th, before hitting a left at Freeport. I know a lot of left turns… Then with a final left turn onto Broadway it is back to where it all started at NewHelvetia.

Upon crossing the finish line runners who are of age are welcomed with a beer and high fives. There were a handful on 9RUN6 peeps at the event which was cool to see! Congrats to the dude Run BMC for winning the race.

After the finish line was crossed the festivities continued which included a lot of photos, consumption of craft beer and nibbling a of pretzels.

First race of 2017✓

So on Saturday night a series of text messages were exchanged between myself and Brian aka Run BMC. Those text messages went like this …

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Notice nothing about running a race, just strictly about running …

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Again nothing about racing … just training … making it a little later than the 6AM that was planned.

Now fast forward to me leaving my house this morning …

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Still nothing about running a race …

So as I pulled off of the freeway to get to Brian’s house, I thought, hey I think there is a race this morning, let’s throw it out there to see if it works with BMC’s schedule.

As I pull up to his house to start a training run, I grab my phone and pull up the Davis Stampede website as I am walking to cross the street. At that moment, I say “Hey Brian, Davis Stampede is this morning, check out these age group times, I think we should run it and get some bling”, I say it partially joking and partially serious, but didn’t really expect us to decide to jump up for a race.

After a couple of minutes, Brian says “Let me tell the wife what the plans are”. Next thing you know it we are headed off of Davis, Ca for the Davis Stampede 5k, 10k and half marathon.

Due to not really training for the race, nor being in serious race fitness levels, the 5k was the easiest one for us to sign up and not crush our spirits.

So we roll up to the onsite registration table, fill out the form, collect our bib, safety pins and t-shirt and were ready to roll.

After a 12 minute warm-up it was time to toe the line and see what this morning had for us. Neither one of us really knew what to expect out of the course, the field or anything else really, except that we were going to run a 5k.

The half and 10k took off at 8AM, and the 5k was scheduled to take off about 10 minutes later, which it did. This is were we kind of knew something would cause a little bit of congestion, because there is no way that 10 minutes was long enough to clear the section that the 5k runners would run, at least the front end of the 5k group and the back end of the 10k / half group.

Boom when the “horn” sent us off for the 5k start, a group of about 20 runners jumped ahead and it was pretty much the lead group of about 8-10 runners then another pack of runners, which I was included in right behind then. This lasted for about the first mile or so, then the gap increased for the front runners and a trail of runners steadily moving along.

At around the 4k mark, there was a walk path tunnel, that caused some back up between the 5k front runners and the middle group of the 10k and half marathoners, from speaking to Brian, who finished 8th overall, he got stuck in the same area that I did and I came in 17th overall.

So after some dodging and zig-zagging amongst other runners, it opened back up as us 5k runners hit a left to finish off the final 600 meters and everyone else had to run over a bridge to finish their distances.

To both of our surprises and non-surprises, Brian and I cleaned up the Age 35-39 division taking 1st and 3rd respectively and 8th and 17th overall. Not a bad days work for deciding to drive to Davis instead of running 13 just for the sake of running 13 miles.

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Back at it with #TeamNuun

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I am glad to announce that I will be representing #TeamNuun for the 2017 year! Since being introduced to Nuun, I have been fortunate to be part of their team since 2012.

What does this all mean? Well you can expect me to continue to post about my enjoyment and joy of using Nuun products in training and throughout the day. Being part of Team Nuun also allows me to interact and meet other awesome members who enjoy the product and are part of the team. I will also be seen working Nuun booths at various events including race expos.

From Nuun I will get exposure through their social media accounts about races and events I am part of, I get an early preview of new products and get to sample them, have the opportunity to race with other Team Nuun members.