The Fair Oaks Sun Run…how do I recap this miserable, hilly, god-awful, wonderful race?
Going into this race I knew that it was hilly but honestly I had no idea how hilly it really was. Even the down hills were pretty intense. I ran all the hills both up and down for the first half but the second half I ended up having to walk several of the hills at least partially. But with this race the hills were only half of it. The middle section of this race was down in the bottom of the American River on dirt track. This wasn’t just dirt track. It was rocks and gravel too.
I was so happy to get off the rocks and onto the pavement again I almost wept. And then I saw The Beast. We’d come down it to the river bottom and while running down I was praying we weren’t going to be going back up it. My prayers didn’t help. We had to run back up it. I made it about 2/3’s of the way up before I had to walk. It was just so steep I was barely moving forward while running.
Thank goodness the last tenth of a mile was down hill to flat because I was done! I’m just happy I was upright when I finished. My hubby said that right before I finished an older gentleman fell right before the finish and then got up and finished. When I rounded the corner, they were loading him into the ambulance. It’s not something you want to see at all and the first time I’ve ever seen anything like that at a race. Hubby thought the guy was just banged up with some road rash and wasn’t anything serious but still. Scary.
This course was very challenging and I’m thrilled with my time. I finished a much more challenging course in just a couple of minutes less than my last 5 mile race and I’m thrilled with the results. Part of the challenge this year in addition to running injury free & embracing the suck is to get my brain to understand that not every race has to be a PR. Just finishing and finishing strong is what counts.
After the race we had pizza for dinner. We never do that and let me tell you it was the greatest pizza I’ve ever had.
Race pros and cons:
- if you’re looking for a challenge, this race is it
- variety of terrain – pavement, dirt, rocks, gravel
- Hills, lots of hills
- car show & activities for the family afterward
- cool medal with a chicken on it
- Variety of terrain
- The first aid station was a bit far out
I would totally do this one again next year. It was a huge challenge for me and I loved it. But next year I’m going to carry some water with me. I would totally recommend this race if you’re looking for a challenge. Flat and fast is fun but this was super fun.
Did you race last weekend?
How’d it go?
It’s finally Friday. I’ve been waiting all week for it and it’s finally here. I was recently able to restructure my job so that there is a more fair equitable division of work between me and my coworker. She was doing the bulk of the work leaving me with not a lot to do day-to-day and it was driving me crazy. But this week is graduation week and it’s always a little hectic at the beginning of the week but by Friday, it’s slow as the Academy shuts down for the day. However that shut down doesn’t affect us. We’re still here plugging away at our work.
But I’m stoked for this Friday because I’m racing this weekend! Tomorrow is packet pick up day for the Fair Oaks Sun Run and I’m super juiced about it.
My goal for this week has been to “Embrace the Suck!” And I have been. It’s usually my MO to avoid running when it’s hot or when the wind blows but not this week. This week I’ve been running in the heat and the wind and I’ve been enjoying the heck out of it! I’m running faster and sweating more! But I don’t care, I’m just embracing whatever the weather throws at me. I’m hoping Sunday morning will dawn cool but if it doesn’t, I’m going to embrace that too and run my race. Hot temps or hills, they can’t get me down!
I’m currently waiting for the Zion Half to open for registration for 2016 and it’s what is prompting my new “Embrace the Suck” for this year. Let me name all the things that are wrong with this half:
- Up hill
These are all things I don’t want for a half but I am doing this one and I’m super stoked about it. So I’m embracing the suck. It’s all good attitude, all the time. You want me run hills? Ok. You want me to run in wind? Ok. I’m cool with heat, rain, wind and cold temperatures. I’m cool with whatever mother nature wants to throw at me this year. It’s all just one step away from running this race. (*disclaimer: This attitude may or may not last for the next 11 months. participant may or may not have had a mental break down. Approach with extreme caution.) I’m also super juiced for the 2 week vacation in Utah that will precede and post-ceed (I don’t think that’s a word) this race.
Have you ever run a destination race?
Got any advice? I’ve never done one.
Do you ever wake up in the morning and suddenly decide that you’re going to take on a challenge that you’d normally avoid? Say picking a race that’s known for being very hilly? Even has a hill known as “The Beast”? Does this happen to anyone else? No? Hmmm.
Yesterday before my work day went totally crazy, I decided to sign up for the Fair Oaks Sun Run aka The Chicken Run. Based off the course elevation map, I’ve clearly lost my mind. Especially since I complained about the hills during the SacTown 10 – 5 Mile.
Look at that elevation map! Those hill names are scary but I’m committed now! I payed my money and on Sunday May 3rd, I’ll pay the real price. I’ve got two weeks to mentally prepare myself for this.
I don’t really have a goal for this race. Due to the hills, my main goal is to run them all especially The Beast and enjoy myself. But in addition to the hills this race is also part road and part dirt track which I’ve never raced before. I’ve run dirt but never raced it. I’d like to come in with any time under 60 minutes but if I don’t, I don’t. My race goals for this year are simple, have fun.
I’ll be a hill expert after this race!