2015 Berkeley Half Marathon Recap

Between the Dumbo Double Dare – and this race. I started to become a little cocky. I was so impressed at my ability to run 19.3 miles in one weekend without burning myself out – that I viewed my 3rd and last half marathon of 2015 to not be a challenge.

Boy was I wrong. The 2015 Berkeley Half Marathon humbled me, and put into perspective that if running a half marathon were easy, everyone would do it.

Like my past three halfs – I put in the time and miles. I was all trained up. My speed has definitely not improved during my training runs – in fact they might have slowed down a little – yet for some reason, I thought there was a possibility of me getting a PR.

The morning of the race, I hopped in an uber that took me across the bay to Downtown Berkeley. My corral had an 8:22 am start time, so I got there with a little over 45 minutes to spare.

I placed myself at the front of my corral and had a quick start. I hit the 5k mark around 35 minutes into the race – which was speedy for me, but soon after that – I started to experience pain in my stomach and a little bit of nausea. I slowed down a little and by the time I got to mile 4, I started to feel better.

This course was very hilly in the beginning. The inclines felt greater than the Rock’n’Roll SF half which I ran earlier this year. Living in SF – I pretty much have to train on hills, so I was prepared, but hills do wear me out sometimes.

Around mile 9 is when it hit me – or I hit it. The wall.

At mile 10 it got harder, and by mile 11 I had to switch my 30:30 intervals to 15:30 (run 15 seconds, walk 30). Once I turned the corner and saw the finish line in view I *trotted* to the finish line. I was worn out. My finish time as 2:47:10 with a pace of 12:46. Not a PR. However it was my second fastest half.

race_1268_photo_28806545

 

Despite my pace not being too far off from my PR and definitely faster than my long training runs – I felt unfulfilled with my performance.

This race was small compared to the other half marathons I have ran in the past. In every other half marathon I have run – the crowds never truly thinned out. I always had people in front of me AND behind me. Even my first half – with a 3:17 finish time – there were plenty of people crossing the line with me.

While I never was truly ALONE during this race – it definitely got pretty quiet during the last two miles – and once I saw my official results on how I placed – OOOF McGOOF.

I don’t know if I will ever run a sub 2 half. I am not an athletic person by nature –  however I know I made mistakes during training and during the race – if a PR was something I wanted. I think can muster up a 2:35 finish time.

I need to push myself during my weekday short runs.  I had become a little lazy toward the later half of the year – and pretty much went through the motions with all of my runs.

I also could have paced myself better throughout the entire race. Gone slower in the beginning – so I could finish strong. I did not finish strong at this race.

It also made me question my marathon goal. When I finished the race I thought to myself “how in the heck can I double this and finish without being swept or diverted away from the finish?”

I also thought to myself – do I even want to do another long race in the near future?

For the past year and a half – I have been training for half marathons. I had written about the glory of taking some time off of the longer runs in the past – and I think that might be something I plan to do through the rest of the year.

I plan to keep my long runs in the single digits (probably maxing out at 8 miles) until the start of the new year. At that time I will think about my 2016 goals. Do they include a marathon? A half pr? A 10k PR? I need a little time to reflect and think about it.

2015 San Francisco Color Run Recap

Ahh…the Color Run. I had aspired to participate in one for a while now, years before I took up running seriously.

The Color Run is a touring un-timed 5k. It’s fun, low maintenance, and a great opportunity to take and post gleeful photos on social media.

My husband and a few friends registered a few months ago. The San Francisco version of The Color Run started and ended at AT&T park.

Unlike other races I have participated in – there was not one start time – but a series of corral releases taking place from 8:00am to 9:45 am. It seemed like a group of runners were released every 10-15 minutes. We lined up shortly after we arrived. At the starting line there was a DJ throwing out prizes, some stilt walking dancers and a dancing unicorn.

Once we were released we ran through the bases of AT&T park and exited the stadium to run along the Embarcadero.

There were color stations throughout the course where they doused you with colored corn starch.

After running along the Embarcadero we returned to AT&T park and the course went inside the stadium and up to one of the concourses. It was a pretty unique aspect of the course.

With the beautiful sights of SF and the dousing of color – there were plenty of photo opportunities. We definitely made a few photo stops throughout the way.

12232740_10106768344824635_4305157183244428210_o

We were handed medals and some color powder to throw on ourselves or other people, I guess.

screenshot_866

I definitely would do the Color Run again. I feel it’s a great first race for someone new to running – it shows that running and being active is sometimes not about setting records or “killing” yourself. Definitely bring friends and family to participate – even if you don’t run – you will be in great company with many people walking.  It’s about savoring the moment and being grateful to be able to make memories with the ones that you love.