If you know me and/or if you follow my blog, you know that I was very anti-holidays this year. When New Year’s Eve finally arrived and we started gearing up to head to Sonoma with BFFs Andrea & Josh to go for our NYE wine tasting extravaganza- I had a mental breakdown. And it wasn’t pretty. Imagine me, a grown woman, throwing my body on the ground, banging hands and feet wildly, holding my breath and screaming, “NO NO NO I DON’T WANNA!!!”
I exaggerate but yeah, I basically threw a tantrum. Hubby said, “Uh… I think you should do us all a favor and stay home.”
That was all I needed to hear. Called Andrea, explained myself and my exhaustion-fueled tantrum and she completely understood. I sighed with relief. Every fiber of my being wanted to rest so while they trekked to Sonoma, I basked in the glow of a quiet house and comfy couch. That was The Best decision I made in 2011.
So, what the heck does all that have to do with a 10K race?
Well, opting out of my first favorite thing to do (partying) I decided to opt in for my second favorite thing to do (racing). However, I had no car so even before registering, my first challenge was securing a ride out to Lake Chabot, which I did thanks to my friend and fellow blogger Kate.
We arrived to Lake Chabot, I grabbed a cup of coffee, and we walked around, enjoying the scenery, hitting the porta potty and chatting with friends, all the while trying to stay warm. The race finally started and we were off…
Lake Chabot is very scenic this time of year and we in the Bay Area have been very lucky to avoid rain so far- the sky was a perfect baby blue, the wind was mild, the temps were cold but not freezing, perfect running weather. Lake Chabot, however, is not flat and part-trail. Having run this course 3 times before at the 5K level, I knew this. I knew the 10K was harder. I knew about the trail. I knew it was hilly. Well, I thought I knew…
The beginning of the course is very undulating but run-able- up-down-up-down, no problem. We have been working on hills at track so I was prepared and ran through the baby hills, no problem. Then, at about mile 2 we crossed a very scenic bridge…
… and I took the chance to grab another self-portrait-while-running over it…
… and then there was no more running for about a mile and a half due to a 800 foot mother-of-a-hill climb that came next. Eeeeek.
As you can see, no one was running that one. It just kept going and going and going and hiking and huffing and puffing and then one of the photographers caught me walking:
So I took off and attempted to run again only to be greeted by more switchbacks to which I asked, “SERIOUSLY???” More hiking until the turn around and then we headed straight down hill.
Now, you would think that relief comes with the downhill but with trail hills this steep, I was too scared to run at full speed, fearing I would slip and fall flat on my ass so I kinda shuffled sideways down the steepest parts, leaning back and heel-striking the whole way. Once we were off the trail and back on the paved path, my legs were so fatigued from that severe ascent that I found it very hard to get going again. I looked at my watch, I was well over an hour already but I didn’t mind… just smiled to myself, looked at the full sun shining over the lake, and reminded myself how much I have to look forward to in 2012.
I finished the race in 1:13 which is the slowest 10K for me to date. I totally blame the hills. Of course, I could have pushed it more but as a last-minute decision, I really didn’t mind… I had a great, challenging run, got to spend time with friends, and have a new medal to start my 2012 collection.
I just love, love, love a Brazen Race. The race organizers Sam & Jasmin, hold very affordable and incredibly well-organized races, mostly trail runs. Every race comes with a goody bag, neat race bib, cool medal as well as custom race shirt (with the option of a tech tee for just an extra $5). Support along the course is ample and the water stations are always stocked with different beverages, gummy bears, pretzels, and fruit.
They also provide coffee before the race starts (I must have pre-race coffee and this is one of 2 races I have participated in that have hot coffee while you wait!) and after the race, there is always a veritable feast. This time, I had some red velvet cake, more coffee, and grabbed a Hagen Daaz ice cream bar for the road.
I was very proud of myself for making the decision to stay in for New Year’s Eve this year and even happier that I pushed myself to get out the door, pin those numbers, and tackle “some” hills. Just a great way to start the new year!
How did you start of the first day of this new year? What are your physical goals for 2012?
- Race Recap: Muddy Buddy (running4thereason.wordpress.com)
- Race Recap: California International Marathon Relay (running4thereason.wordpress.com)
- Race Recap: US Half Marathon (running4thereason.wordpress.com)
- Race Recap: Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon, San Jose (running4thereason.wordpress.com)