Tag Archives: Modesto Marathon

By the Numbers…

I love statistic.  Numbers say a lot to me and as such I love SmashRun.com  If you haven’t checked it out, you should.  It’s free and it gives you lots of stats from your run and you can sync your Garmin account to it so you don’t even have to manually enter anything.  Love it.

October Miles

I know that October is not quite over with 2 more days to go but I’m loving my status for the month.  I’ve been #Streakingwiththecoolkids and Pink Cupcake Girl.  If you haven’t checked out her blog, you totally should.  The girl is hard-core and totally fun.

With 2 more days to go, I figure I’ll be somewhere about 123 miles for the month.  Long runs are done so it’s just a two miler and a 3 miler left.  It’s been tough a few times to get myself out of bed to get all these miles but I feel super awesome knowing that I’ve run every single day and every single mile was mile.  It’s an amazing feeling.

My last long run for the month of October was last Saturday.  The forecast was calling for rain so I got up and out earlier than normal to try to get my 11 miles in.  Thankfully the rain held off and I had 11 amazing miles.

10-25 Long Run 110-25 Long RunThe Run was pretty good until I looked down and realized that my foot had landed right next to a snake.  It was dead having been run over by at least a few cars but that didn’t stop me from doing a crazy jitter bug move down the middle of the road trying to get away from it.  Snakes are not my friends.  The horror!  My skin crawls thinking about it.  I’m such a sissy sometimes.

Weekly Recap for October 20 – 26:

Weekly Recap - 10-20 - 10-26

Miles Ran:  26.3 (down 10.7% from last week)
Total Duration:  4:28:46
Fastest Average Mile:  9:27 (Treadmill) & 9:55 (street)

Shin Splints:

They are getting better and I’ve pulled my distances back trying to give them time to heal while not taking any time off from running.  This week is much better than the previous week which I’m attributing to the fact that I’m staying out of the gym and off the treadmill.  I know it totally seems counter intuitive, but it seems to be working.

Other than the shin splints I’m feeling great.  I may have been bitten by the marathon bug.  I’m starting to think that maybe I should run a full marathon in 2015.  So I’m shopping training plans.  If I do, I’m thinking about running the Modesto Marathon which is at the end of March 2015.  I ran the half last year and PR’ed, so maybe there’s good juju for me there.

Do you have a marathon training plan you can recommend?

What’s the furthest distance you’ve run?  I’ve never run further than 13.1.  Anything past that scares me.

Friday Five: Five Reasons to Run a Half Marathon

It’s Friday again which means that it’s time for the Friday Five Link up with Courtney at Eat Run Pray DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What and Mar at Mar on the Run for the weekly link-up. If you haven’t checked out these ladies blogs yet, you totally should. They are fun, feisty and not afraid to call it like they see it.

This weeks theme:  Five Reasons to Run a Half Marathon

Here's me setting a new PR at the Modesto Half Marathon in March 2014.
Here’s me setting a new PR at the Modesto Half Marathon in March 2014.  I look so happy to be done but in my defense I’d just PR’d by like 12 minutes. 

1.  Pride.  Saying you’re going to do it is a whole lot different from actually doing it.  A lot of hard work and effort goes into this.

2.  Post race food.  I like to eat as evidenced by my hips…j/k but I do love to eat.  Post race allows me to eat a special treat once in a while that I generally save as a reward for doing something awesome…like running a half marathon.

3. To prove to yourself that you’re capable of so much more than you ever thought possible.  It never ceases to amaze me that I can run as far as I do.  I’ve  never been particularly athletic.  I never played sports in high school and until I started running a few years ago, the only reason I ran was for ice cream.

5. Bling. I mean hellooooo! Who doesn’t love a shiny new medal to hang on the wall!

4.  To be the best me that I can be.  Simple as that.

What are your reasons for running?

Yesterday after work was so beautiful here. Due to all the road closures around here, my new commute is twice as long but takes me down some lovely rural roads. The fields are still green and with temps in the low 80’s, driving with the windows down was a must.

I got home a few minutes before my sweetie and headed out to the back yard with the dogs to enjoy the sunshine and play a little ball.  When Hubby got home this happened.


Yep, dogs were used as pillows and naps were had in the grass.  Not real naps but some serious relaxing.  We sat out there long enough to justify ordering a pizza for dinner and for me to get a little sunburn on my arms.  Some how I always manage to forget that I’m fair-skinned.

I have to admit that I’ve been a bit disappointed by my morning runs since I switched over last Friday from 5:30pm runs to 4am runs.  My average pace as been slower in the AM then they were in PM.  But this morning, I think I finally found my AM run groove…despite the fact that my JayBirds ran out of power this morning on mile 4.  Thank goodness, it was a 5 mile run so I powered through the last mile without them.

04-16-14 Run

My first mile is always in the 10:30 range, always.  It’s my warm up mile.  No need to go out to fast and pull up lame.  That would not be good.  Seeing those 9’s pop up on my Garmin this morning was such a good feeling.  They’re not grossly fast for me but a good pace.  One I’d like to see repeated at my next half in May.  Or at the Capital City Classic which is coming up in a week and a half.

Speaking of the Capital City Classic (CCC), I’ve been kind of apprehensive about this race due to how bad my last one was.  I seriously thought about a DNF but I’m glad I didn’t.  For CCC, I opted for the 10 mile version of the race (they offer a 2.62 mile, 5k, 10k & 10 mile run).  It fits well into my training plan for Avenue of the Vines but has a couple of fairly serious hills on the course.  I’ve run them before in races a few years ago but this will be the first time this year.  Since my area doesn’t have a lot of hills (flat farming country), I’ve been going over to the new overpass on the south side of town on my long runs to incorporate it as a hill on my long runs.  It’s a long hill but not all that steep, similar to the ones I’ll face at CCC.  I’ve been operating under the theory, slow if you must but don’t stop for hills.  It worked at Modesto, and it’s worked on my long runs and I’m hoping that it will work again for CCC.

Tower BridgeI Street Bridge

I am looking forward to running two of Sacramento’s iconic bridges, Tower Bridge & I Street Bridge.  Both bridges are life lines between downtown Sacramento and West Sacramento.  Tower Bridge leads from Raley Field, home of the AAA baseball team, The River Cats into downtown.  I Street bridge is not as fancy or as celebrated at Tower Bridge but it beautiful in its own way.

ccc-2013-10K-10m-Map  Most of the course is run in West Sacramento which will be fun because I’ve never explored much of that area, unless you count going to Ikea.  I really enjoy when a race course goes through areas that I don’t know.  It’s like sight-seeing instead of racing and keeps my mind off the race.

I’m really looking forward to this race.  Not as long as a Half but not so short that it’s over in a blink.  Fingers crossed for a fast fun race.

What race are you looking forward to?

Do you like to “sight-see” while you race?  Or are you more of a focused runner?

2014 Modesto Half Marathon Pictures

One of the perks from the Modesto Marathon is that all the pictures taken by the course photographers were free.  At the race you could pick up pictures that were taken on the course and printed out for free at the end.  The tent was so crowded that I just took a quick peek as best I could and got out.

Today the pictures were finally available on-line.  Let me remind you here that I’m not pretty when I run.  I sweat, my face turns red and my hair gets frizzy.  I don’t wear make up and when I’m done, I look like I just worked hard.  I’m not one of those ladies that looks like they just finished fixing their face after a half marathon.  I look and feel like I just work my tail off.

The following pictures are not for the faint of heart….scroll at your own risk.

Mile 7.5 - Looking good, feeling good
Mile 7.5 – Looking good, feeling good
MIle 10 - looking exhausted and feeling exhausted.  That excalated quickly.
MIle 10 – looking exhausted and feeling exhausted. That escalated quickly.
Finished!  So happy to be done!
Finished! So happy to be done!

A week and a half until The Running of the Elks on April 6th.  My training this week has been on a slight hiatus due to the demands of life.  I finally got in run yesterday morning and it was the first one since The Modesto Marathon.  I was worried that it wasn’t going to feel good or I was going to be in pain but once I got going, it felt so great.

Miles:  4.58
Time: 45:04
Pace: 9:50

I’m going to try to squeeze in another run tonight because I already know that I’m going to miss my Friday run.  I have an appt to get my hair done and it’s going to be a long once because I’m getting a Keratin treatment done, plus the regular cut & color.  I’m looking forward to it because the keratin will help cut down the frizzy that I’ve been having.

Avenue of the Vines

In other running news, I’ve decided to add one more race to my schedule for this spring.  I decided to add another Half Marathon to the schedule but this one isn’t until May 18th.  It should be interesting since I’ll be on vacation for most of the week prior to the Half, so my training won’t be dead on.  But I’m not too worried since that would have been taper week for me anyway.  But now I need to put a training plan in place so that I can stay on track for this one.

9 days until The Running of the Elk
30 days until the Capital City Classic – 10 mile
50 days until The Avenue of the Vines Half Marathon

That’s not too crazy…

I’ve never had a race/training schedule like this before.  It’s tight and doesn’t allow much room for anything else.  I have decided to quit cross fit for right now because I was working out 7 days a week between my running schedule and crossfit.  It was leaving me no time to rest and no time to take care of anything else that needed to be taken care of.  I’m still doing body weight exercises at home so it’s not a total wash.  But I really need some room to take care of family business and some monkey business.

At this point, I will not be adding any additional races to my schedule until fall.  It’s going to be getting hot here and I don’t do well running in the heat.  At some point all my running will be switched to the AM before work which means getting up at 4am.  Not looking forward to that part at all but I don’t want to let my running drop off over the summer and then half to start from square one in the fall, especially if I’m going to run any fall halves which I would like to do.

What’s your summer training schedule look like?

Any fall races that you’re looking forward to?

The One in Which I Took No Pictures…

Good morning and Happy Monday to ya!  I survived the Modesto Marathon and I liked it.  But I took no pictures at all.  How every unblogger like of me but whatever.  I managed to get up at 4am on Sunday, shower, dress, eat and be in my car at 5am.  I did have to detour back to the house once because I forgot my water bottle.  I don’t usually drink that much water but I need the bottle to wash down the Gu.  So I U-turned about 2 blocks from the house to get it.

I got the bottle and left again.  2 blocks later, I had to stop again because the gps on my phone quit working.  Pulled over, got it fixed and got back on the road again.  I made it down to Modesto in less than an hour and found a primo place to park only 2 blocks from the starting line.  I paid to park and then headed out to find the porta potties.  I used the bathroom, wandered around a little bit and then staked out a place at the 11 minute/mile marker at the start.  At 6:45 I ate my Gu and enjoyed the people watching.  It’s always a premium at races.  I can’t decided who’s my favorite, the girls in full on make up like it’s the Oscars or the super serious 5k’ers with the full fuel belts.  No, it’s the people in full costumes.  Yep, gotta be the costumes.

The race was scheduled to start at 7am and at about 7:10 we were off after a very amazing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.  I’m a big softy and get choked up every time.  But I wasn’t the only on wiping tears. The music was thumping and we were all pretty pumped.  Due to the congestion at the start and the fact that they were only using half of the street for the start we walked across the start line before the field could spread out to run.  It was the slowest start I’ve ever seen.

The first 2 or 3 miles were through some really lovely neighborhoods and the crowd support was really great.  People were up early and some were handing out champagne to the runners.  I skipped the champagne.

Once we left the neighborhoods, we went into an industrial area which is fine but the roads were a little worse for wear and you had to watch your footing.  Then it was up and over “Mt. Modesto.”  Mt. Modesto is a very steep overpass that takes you up and over some railroad tracks and Highway 99.  There was a lot of walking going on here but I powered up and over.  I was feeling really grateful that I had done the “steep” over pass here in town during my training.  I didn’t do it on purpose but it was the only was to get to the other side of town on my long runs so it became part of my training plan.

After you went up and over Mt. Modesto, you looped around to a frontage road and then we were sent off into the country on farm roads.  They were fairly narrow but the field had really thinned out at this point so it wasn’t a problem. But again, you needed to watch your footing.  About this time I took my first package of Gu.  The scenery was really nice with lots of orchards.  Thankfully most everything except for the walnuts had already bloomed and didn’t affect my horrible allergies.

About 7.5 miles in the Half Marathon split off and we were headed back toward the finish while the Marathoners headed further out into the farmland.  Before we split I did see the first wheelchair racer to participate in the race but wasn’t able to catch him to congratulate him.  It was very impressive to see especially since I new that he’d had to climb Mt. Modesto too.  It was hard on two legs.

At mile 8, I Gu’ed again.  After we split off, I had started wondering how we were going to get back to the otherside of the free way again…um, hello again Mt. Modesto.  It was like a cruel joke.  At cuel joke at mile 10.  So mean.  I’d say that 90% of the field walked it.  I slowed way down but I didn’t walk it.  I just kept the legs moving.  The joy in the up hill was the down hill.  I just let my body carry me.

Everything was going well until mile 12.  Bonk.  Smash.  Ouch.  I hit the wall so hard that I’m pretty sure I left parts of me behind.  I started taking very small walk breaks.  I know I had juice in the tank but mentally I was ready to be done.  I had to pull out my ear phones becuase I just couldn’t deal with the noise anymore.  It was making me feel manic instead of energized.  I managed to pull it together enough to run the last half mile in without stopping and even pick up the pace for the final sprint in.

As I was running down the chute all alone, the photographer yelled, “hands up” to me and I managed to get them up and even woohoo’ed a bit.  I hit the stop on my Garmin, grabbed some water, received my medal and made my way through the madness grabbing some food (why I don’t know, I didn’t eat it until hours after I got home).  I checked out the pictures that were up, none were of me, and checked the results.  My results weren’t up yet so I wandered around and then decided I was ready to head to my car.  Thankfully I only walked about 4 blocks and I was there.  I stretched out some, grabbed my jacket & started drinking my Nuun that I’d left in my car with extra ice.  The ice was gone but it was still good.

My lower back was killing me so I did some stretches as best I could to get the knots out and then remembered I hadn’t looked at my Garmin.  Let me tell you guys, when I saw the time, I totally choked up and got all teary eyed.

2014 Modesto Half Marthon Garmin Reading

2:18:58!!!  I planned to treat the race like a training run.  Run what felt good, keep it around the 11 min mark for my pace.  I didn’t really pay much attention to time except to know when to fuel.  So seeing that 2:18 was a shock.  I couldn’t believe it and I still kinda can’t.

2014 Modesto Half Marathon Medal

My splits look like this:

2014 Modesto Marathon Splits

At mile 9 is when I started to tire based upon the splits and the fact that was about the time I started to feel physically hungry.  I need to rethink my fueling plan.  Instead of fueling every 45 minutes, maybe every 40 minutes.  Not sure but I’ll be working on this over the next two weeks before the Running of the Elks.

My offical finish time was 2:18:47.  In the next couple of days the race photos will be up and I’ll be sure to share them…provided they aren’t horible…cough.  What?  I’m not pretty when I run, not that I care since I don’t have to look at me!  😉

Pro’s and con’s of the race:

Early start time
Nice course, Flat
Good scenry
Plenty of aid stations with medical care
Closed course, no vehicle traffic except for emergancy vehicles
Good weather, 45 degrees at the start
Good swag including a light weight jacket, tech shirt and assorted goodies
Expo in an easy to get to location
Plenty of parking at the race within a few blocks
Course entertainment from a vartiy of different bands (one band started playing Sweet Home Alabama as I went by. It was like a nod from the running/music gods that I was doing good.)
Amazing volunteers & course support

Mt. Modesto…twice – Not a deal breaker for me but was pretty brutal around mile 10
The staff didn’t seem to know what was happening. I enquired about changing the size of my shirt and was told I could do it at the expo. But at the expo they said you could only exchange them after the race. Never did try to exchange it for a wearable size.

So just two cons. One of which would have been a non issue if I’d registerd for the correct size shirt to begin with.  It was a good race with a very fun atmasphere and I would run it again.

Did you race this week?

How’d you do?

Pre Race Jitters? Who me?

Pretty Princess Pink Nails

 Stopped on my way home last night to get my nails done.  My old nail polish was in bad shape because I couldn’t keep myself from picking at it.  Gel nail polish is like a plastic more than a traditional polish and I couldn’t stop myself from picking it off.  Because I’m a 12-year-old girl, I got sparkly pink polish.  I know I’m 38 but some times it just feels right to be 12 again.

Since I got gel polish again, my nails were dry before I left the salon.  When I got home I changed my clothes and headed out for a run.

03-20-14 Splits

I went out just fine at 10 min/mile but about half way through mile 2 I had a wicked side cramp and heart burn.  I didn’t realize it at the time but I had increased my mile time by more than 30 seconds.  I can run a 9:30 mile but yesterday it just didn’t agree with me.  I think it was a couple of factors that cause it.

1.  I hadn’t eaten anything since 3pm and it was now after 6.  I need fuel to run.  It’s a proven fact.

2.  Heat.  It was 78 degrees here yesterday afternoon.  And there wasn’t much of a breeze to help keep me cool.  Me and heat don’t get along.  I tend to get fainty.  I once fainted at a renissance fair due to heat.  Thankfully when  I passed out, I fell into the guy in front of me and he was quick thinking and was able to grab me.  So embrassing.

Thankfully I was able to slow my pace to more of a 10 min/mile pace and the cramp went away.  The heartburn did not.  But that’s doable.  The cramp was really uncomfortable.  It was on my right side, lower almost on the front of my rib cage.  So annoying.

Right now I’m hoping that this isn’t  a precursor to the Half on Sunday.  It’s 1 day and 21 hours and 59 mintues away (give or take).  Sunday is going to be fine.  No bad omens.  No pre race jitters.

Originally, I was planning to run this race fast and shoot for a 2:20 or 2:25 finish.  But the more I think about it and get advice from more experienced races, I think I’m going to pull back and go for a 2:29:00 finish time or at least a time between 2:25 and 2:29.  At my last half marathon 2 years ago, I finished in 2:29:30.  And I’d like to beat that time without killing myself.  This is a training run, not a race.  My real race is still two weeks a way.

Week 5 Long Run Splits

I have been looking at last weeks long run for inspiration and to remind myself that I’m prepped for this run.  I only had three miles that were 11 minutes or over and 2 of those were at times I was fueling.  I will slow down a lot to fuel because I can’t breathe through my nose which means that some times I will walk or slow to a very slow jog.

I maintained a 10:55 average pace for this run but there are factors that I can’t control when racing that don’t apply to your long runs.  Race traffic isn’t an issue at home but it is during the race.  The lucky run was proof of that.  During that race 7 mile/7k group was so crowded that my first mile was 1:11 min/mile and by the last mile when I was basicly alone except for getting passed by the eleits from the Half, was 9:47 min/mile.  Obviously traffic was a factor there.

I’m planning to take my small hand bottle to avoid the water stations as much as possable.  Traffic around the aid stations can get a bit crazy.  I figure I will only need water after 9 or 10 miles.  I plan to hit the tables at the back of the line to avoid any kind of congestion.

No matter what happens on Sunday, I am going to run my own pace and my own race.

Thursday Inspiration…

Kara Goucher

I skipped my Wednesday night run in favor of cleaning out my closet and going to Home Depot with Hubby.  Runners World shared this quote on Facebook this morning and I wanted to share it with you.  Sometimes I need just a little reminder of how great running and life in general is.

Registered Half Marathoners

I finally made the list for Registered Runners for the Modesto Half Marathon.  I have been obsessively stalking their website waiting for my name to come up and they finally updated it this morning.  I just can’t figure out how I ended up choosing an extra-large shirt.  I’m usually a medium or a large but never an extra-large.  I guess that’s what happens when you’re rushing to sign up before you leave work for the day.  Oops.  At least they will have a shirt exchange at the expo and I can trade it for a smaller shirt.

I got an e-mail from the race this morning saying that you have to know your bib number to pick up your race packet and goodie bag…Goodie BAAAAAAGGGGG!  So excited about swag.  Who doesn’t love it?!  But the part I can’t come to terms with is that I can’t locate where to find your bib number on the site.  It’s not listed on the list of registered runners and I can’t find a place to locate it…interesting.

On a side/shopping note, if you like Under Armor, Zulily has it on sale today.  They have Men’s, Women’s and Kid’s.  I picked up two tank tops and a long sleeve for Hubby.  It still wasn’t cheap but it was better than paying retail for it.

Happy Thursday, Folks!  I hope it’s a great one!

In terms of swag, what’s the best thing you’ve gotten at a race?

Do you obsessively stalk race websites waiting for your name to appear on their registered runners list or is it just me?

Race Schedule Additions…

Yesterday afternoon, I was putzing around on the internet looking for a race this weekend.  Hubby may or may not be out-of-town this weekend and I was looking for a 5k or 10k just as something to do.  I did not count on deciding to add a major race to my docket for this weekend.

Modesto Marathon

Race Schedule as of 3:58pm yesterday:

04/06 – Running of the Elks Half Marathon
04/27 – Capital City Classic

Race Schedule as of 4pm yesterday:

03/23 – Modesto Marathon – Half
04/06 – Running of the Elks Half Marathon
04/27 – Capital City Classic

Yep, thanks to the influence of my friends and family, I’m going to run the Modesto Marathon – Half this sunday.  I was scheduled to run 12 miles anyway, so what’s an additional 1.1 miles?

The only draw back to this is that Modesto is an hour away from the house and it’s a 7am start; which means that I will have to be up between 4 & 4:30 to be on the road by 5am.  I’m not complaining though, the 7am start is wonderful.  I generally start my long runs at 7am anyway so no biggie.  Hubbs was a bit worried about me driving an hour but since I drove 45 minutes for the Lucky Run, it’s not that big of a deal.

I’m planning to drive down on Saturday morning to pick up my race packet and check out the expo.  I haven’t attended a race that had an expo before so I’m interested in checking it out.  I’m hoping that I will be able to exchange my shirt because somehow I requested an extra-large women’s technical and I really need a medium or a large.  Fingers crossed.  I’m hoping that they will update their list of registered runners so that I can request the change before I go down but if not, it’s a shirt and I have tons of them so it’s not really a big deal.  But it’s also a tech shirt and I do wear them.  I never buy tech shirts anymore since I have them from races.

Modesto Marathon Weather

Looks like the weather is going to be perfect.  Low’s in the upper 40’s and high in the mid 70’s.  Hopefully by the time it’s in the 70’s I’ll be done.  I’m going to be shooting for a 2:20 – 2:25 finish.  I don’t know if they are having pacers or not but if they are, I’m going to try to sick to the 2:20 like glue.  I finished my 11 mile long run last week in 2 hours flat so I think that it’s realistic to want to finish in 2:20 – 2:25.

I guess I’m going to be doing some serious carb loading Friday and Saturday night.  I see pasta and bread in my future in a big way.  Since I love pasta and garlic bread, I don’t see this as a problem.

I don’t normally dedicate my races or specific miles to people.  But yesterday one of my favorite cousins had to have emergency surgery.  He’s doing fine but it was very unexpected.  He’s a personal trainer, fellow runner, police officer, father, husband and all around good guy.  He’s a great guy and I admire him.  We keep in touch via Facebook and he’s always encouraging me in my running.  He recently started training to run the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon in South Dakota but due to this surgery he won’t be running for a while.  So mile 13 is for Jimmy; I’m totally blaming you if this doesn’t go well!

Have you ever added a last minute race to your schedule?

What’s your favorite way to pre-fuel for a long race?