Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Tale of Two Races

                                                       Kicking off 2012 with some serious bling!

It's funny how running can bring both the highest highs and the lowest lows. Ok, maybe that's just a tad dramatic. A great run can make me feel like I'm on top of the world, and then the very next run can toss a cold bucket of reality over my happy glow of accomplishment.

This past weekend, I ran Brazen's NYE/NYD runs - the 5K on NYE and the 10K on NYD. From start to finish, Saturday's 5K was a blast. As I was pulling into the parking lot, I spotting a running buddy I hadn't seen in a while. We went to pick up our bibs, then sat and chatted in my nice warm car until it was time for her to start the half-marathon. I wandered around a bit after that, ran into some more running buddies, and before I knew it, it was time to run!

The course for the 5K was and out-and-back on paved trail with some rolling hills. There were a few damp patches with some wet leaves, but overall pretty smooth. The first half went by quickly, as it was mostly downhill. On the way back,  a number of people shouted out hello, but I was pushing too hard to do more than wave.  My lungs started to really burn by the time I could see the finish line in the distance, and I nearly fell on my butt running over a short wooden bridge. Final finish time was 28:43 on a long (3.33) course. Turned out to be good enough for 3rd place in my age group! 

I was definitely riding a runner's high after that race. I couldn't stop grinning, and even declared I was going to wear my age group medal when I went out that evening (I didn't, but I thought about it)

After a New Year's eve filled with delicious Ethiopian food and spending time with great friends, it was time to head back to Lake Chabot on Sunday morning for Race # 2. There were far fewer runners overall on Sunday, but many more runner friends to see (by far my favorite part of these small local races!) A part of me wished I was running the 5K again, but I geared myself up and started the 10K with a small group of friends, planning to stay with them for the race. We chatted and ran just under 10-minute miles for the first two miles, and it felt pretty good. Then, we hit the hills. 

                                                Jumping for joy that I made it to the top, and naively 
                                                       thinking I was done with the hills

The Lake Chabot hills kicked my butt pretty thoroughly. I attempted to run for the first stretch of hill, but that didn't last long. The hills went on for all of mile 3 and most of mile 4. Even when I hit the turnaround and headed back down the hills, I found many of them too steep to run down. 

By the time I was back on the paved trail, around mile 5, I found myself pretty much alone. I had fallen far behind my friends when we first hit the hills, but I was surprised that there weren't any other runners nearby. My legs were feeling the effects of the hills. I tried to get them to move more quickly but they just wouldn't do it. Finally just before mile 6 I met up with my friend Sammie and we ran it in to the finish. Official finish time was 1:10:xx.

I definitely felt disappointed afterwards. I would have liked to have finished faster, and I definitely would have liked to run vs. walk more of the hills. The events themselves were wonderful though. Brazen Racing puts on great races, they are so well-organized, and they have ice cream sandwiches at the finish, even in January. 


  1. I LOVE Lake Chabot. Even though I have sprained my ankle twice on those trails. It's still one of my favorites. Congratulations on getting those runs done. ;)

  2. That Lake Chabot course is a total butt-kicker!