Tag Archives: Running of the Elks

Running of the Elk 2015 – Race Recap

It’s been almost two weeks since I ran my first 5k of the race season and it went great!  I finished in an amazing 30:02.9…fine, 30:03.  But it was awesome.  I had no plan other than to run the race and enjoy myself.  I felt a little apprehensive at first but as soon as it was the 5k’s turn to start all that went away.

30:02.9 - Not my fastest ever but still awesome!
30:02.9 – Not my fastest ever but still awesome!

I couldn’t have asked for better weather.  The sun was shining but the air temp was cool but not so cool that I wasn’t comfortable to run in shorts and a tank top.  I forgot my sunglasses and had to make an emergency pit stop at a gas station for a pair of cheapies.  I also forgot to charge my headphones and I was worried that they were going to quit on my half way but they never did.  And I finally got to use my race bib belt that I purchased last year.  Awesome piece of “equipment.”  It was so great to attach my bib to it and put it on after I got out of the car rather than pin the bib to my shirt and end up with a wrinkled mess before I even got to the race.  It never rode up or even moved around.  I honestly didn’t give it a single thought during my run.

Love my new bib belt
Love my new bib belt

The half went out first at 8am.  It was weird to stand on the side and watch the half go off without me.  But honestly, it was a relief to know that I wasn’t going out for that distance.  Being real with myself I know that I’m not up for right now and that I’m probably only going to race a since half this year vs the 4 I did last year.  It’s just not in the cards for me and I’m increasing my mileage at only a half a mile per week.  I want to do everything possible to be injury free in 2015.

The 5k was supposed to start at 8:15 but there was a little delay; nothing big, just a few minutes.  I originally lined up at the 10 min/mile sign but when I realized that walkers were lining up in front of me, I moved toward the front.  I understand that they have as much right to be there as anyone but I wish someone would take these folks aside and give them an etiquette lesson.  But that’s a whole other post.  I ended up lined up at about 8:30 min/mile and it was fine.  I still had to pass some folks that were walking but it wasn’t anything that really interfered with my race.

Running of the elk Map

The course was part out and back and part loop.  It was just over 2 miles of street running before it turned onto a bike/foot path next to a creek before it turned back onto the original street to the finish line.  I liked the course.  It was a shady and fairly flat.  And it was fun to get passed by the 1/2’s front-runner.  Plus with the turn around, we got to see the first female in the 5k which always holds a special place for me.  It was fun to cheer for her and let her know she’s first.

Finishing with my new best running buddy, Walter.
Finishing with my new best running buddy, Walter.

Some time after mile 2, I picked up a new running buddy.  We were pushing each other to go faster and faster.  He said he just couldn’t let me go by him and it was really fun to run with him.  I think we need to hook up for training runs ever week.  I’m giving credit to Walter for that 9:23 min/mile in mile 3.  He just wouldn’t let me by and I wouldn’t quit trying to get by; not that he was preventing me from getting by because we were passing people right and left.

Love seeing those splits in the 9's!
Love seeing those splits in the 9’s!

The finish was slightly up hill but nothing major.  By that time the endorphins were really kicking so I was feeling no pain anyway.  I’m super thrilled with my time and I really enjoyed this race.  I would definitely run this again.

I won!  Ok, I didn't place in my age group but it was a major victory!
I won! Ok, I didn’t place in my age group but it was a major victory!

On The Morrow We Race!

Well, not the  morrow but Sunday, Sunday, Sunday.

Running of the Elks - 2015

I ran the half last year but this year I registered for the 5k.  I’m nowhere near in half marathon shape.  I’ve had a mental block for running any further than a 5k but yesterday I finally broke and ran 3.5 miles.

03-25-15 Run

It was a slow run but I had negative splits and I finally beat that block.

03-25-15 Splits

I’m some what apprehensive about racing.  I tend to be this way at any race but right now I’m concerned about just finishing it without killing myself.  My block  has mostly been due to concern in regards to injuring myself again.  The goal for this year is to be injury free so I’m working on getting stronger in all regards.

I’ve also lost a lot of stamina after being off for the last few months.  The huffing and puffing that goes on with my running currently is awful.  I’m pretty sure people think I’m going to have a heart attack and die.  But so far, I’ve survived.

I have no time goal for this race.  No pace.  No plan.  I just want to finish and set a base line for myself.  If you’re in the Sacramento area, come out and cheer for the 5k, 10k and half marathoners.  It’s going to be fun!


This week has been atypical from the start…

Monday – Recovery from the Running of the Elks was the plan for the day with a slow and easy run for 4 miles on the schedule.  But that didn’t happen.  I got a call asking for help from a friend right after work and went off to help at 4:15 and didn’t get home until 7:30.  No run,  no exercise of any kind unless your count taking moving boxes to and from the car.

Tuesday – Planned to do the 4 miles from yesterday.  Nope.  Again, I headed out to help my friend finish moving.  Left the house at 4:30pm and didn’t get home until almost 8.  I could have squeezed the run in but I hadn’t eaten since 3:15 and I was starving.  So no run.

Wednesday – 45 minute run was on the schedule.  I did run so that part I did manage.  But the weather here went from beautiful spring 70’s to 80+ summer since last week.  I ran a little over 4 miles but didn’t run the full 45.

Run 4-9-14

It was just too hot and I wanted to be done.  When I came in through the garage, the bolts holding the garage door to the ceiling fell out and the whole door almost crashed onto the top of my car.  Of course I go in hollering for hubby to help me and quickly back my car out of the garage.  The door was hanging right over our motorcycles so they had to be moved too.

Of course, that let to this…

Ride 4-9-14

The battery is dead on my bike and needs to be replaced so for the first time in years and years, I rode on the back with Hubby.  I threw on a pair of jeans and some boots and we took off for a quick ride around the country side.  It was so much fun.  I’d forgotten how much fun it is to ride.  We were only gone for about 20 minutes but it was so perfect.  The sun was going down and the temps were warm.  We were both grinning ear to ear by the time we got home.

It was a nice end to the end of the middle of an atypical week.

Bonk, Bonk, Bonk…A Race Recap

Running of the Elks - After

Funny that is picture was what Runner’s World choose for Monday inspiration today.  I hit a major bump in the road with Running of the Elks on Sunday.  My stupidity is still stinging today.  But let’s start with Friday…

Running of the Elks - Bib

Friday after work, I hustled up to Elk Grove to pick up my Running of the Elk race packet.  Pick up was very organized and I breezed in and out in about 5 minutes.  I was hoping that since my last bib number ended in 93 and this bib ended in 93 that I was going to have an awesome race and PR again.

Running of the Elks - Start 1

Saturday morning I got up at 5 and my tummy was…off.  I had to force some food into myself, shower, dress and drive the 15 minutes to the race start.  I got there early enough that I was able to part pretty close.

Running of the Elks - Start 3

The race had a really nice turn out and I chatted up a very sweet couple from Marin that were working on doing 50 halves in 50 states.  Impressive.  I’ve never raced out-of-state before.

Running of the Elks - 2:15

I found my pace group leader and got ready for the start.  But by the time the race started and I reached mile 1, I already knew that I was in trouble.  I had no energy at all despite the fact that I had Gu’ed 15 minutes before the start.  Usually when I Gu, it’s like putting race fuel in pinto.  I’m ready to run.  But this time, it was like water in the gas tank.

I can tell you that I made very bad nutrition choices on Saturday and I paid for them during and after the race.  I had no energy and felt generally lousy.  I deviated from my normal Saturday routine.  Normally, I get up at 6, eat toast with peanut butter and run 4 miles.  I have a snack after then normal lunch and good dinner with lots of carbs before a race.  But this Saturday I did none of that and ate junk food all day.  Note to self; you should already know this but when you eat like crap you feel like crap.  Duh.

Running of the Elks

I officially retired my Saucony Ride 6’s after Modesto.  They had close to 400 miles on them at that point and I felt every one of them during Modesto.  Since I’d been doing my long runs in my Mizuno Wave Syonara’s, I stuck with them for this race instead of my Brooks.

Running of the Elks Results


My finish was more than 15 minutes off of my desired finish but I did finish.  I was completely wiped out.  I got my medal and hobbled back to my car, drove home and took a nap.  I didn’t stay to enjoy the post race festivities.  I didn’t eat anything.  I just went home.  I felt like walking to my car was too much for me.

Lessons learned:

*Don’t mess with your fuel.  Eat what you normally eat, don’t go off the reservation and eat a bunch of junk food if that’s not what you normally eat during training.

*Stick to your plan, if you normally run a four mile the day before your long run, do that on race weekend too.

*Try to keep your head in the game.  Don’t have a serious conversation with your mom about heavy stuff while you’re waiting for the race to start.  That shit will mess with your head.

*Stay positive.


What was your worst race ever run?

What are your lessons did you learn from it?

Also Know As the Weather Stalker…

Running of the Elks Weather

Stalking the weather, 24 hours a day and other than a small change in the morning temps for Sunday, it’s looking good for Running of the Elks.

Running of the Elks Registered Runner

Today is the best day of the week, it’s race packet pick up day!!!  I love this day.  I can’t wait to see my new shirt and get my bib.  It’s the best day of the year!!!  Well, until the next one.

JayBird BlueBuds X

I decided to pick myself up a pair of wireless headphones today.  I choose the JayBird BlueBuds X bluetooth ear phones.  I’m picking them up after work and I’m hoping I like them.  Best Buy had them on sale for $40 off but they’re still pretty pricey at $128.  I have a run to get in tonight after I pick up my packet & ear buds so I’m going to give them a shot.  Hopefully I can give you a full review on how I like them after this weekend.  Depending on how it goes on the short run, I might (or not) give them a shot for the race on Sunday.  I know they say not to try anything new on race day but I’m so sick of my cords bouncing around while I’m running that I’m willing to give it a shot.

Anyone else racing this weekend?

Do you use wireless ear buds when you run?

Looking Good…

All things considered, it’s looking good for Sunday. Hubby is going to be out-of-town again so no race support for me this weekend. Not that I need it but it’s always nice to know that someone you love is waiting for you at the end of the race.


Use caution when approaching a tapering runner…oh yes.  I have been so crabby and irritated and moody this week.  Earlier this week I almost had a temper tantrum in my kitchen due to the mess that had accumulated at the end of the bar.  I was barely able to stop  myself from throwing myself on the floor and kicking my arms and legs like a little child denied a sweet.  I’m unbearable when I’m like this.  You know it’s bad when you don’t even want to be around yourself.  But I’m doing my best to hold it all together and so far no one has gotten hurt.

Running of the Elks Weather

The weather is looking like it’s going to be very similar to the weather two weeks ago for the Modesto Marathon, lows in the upper 40’s and highs in the upper 70’s.  However, Running of the Elks has an 8am start vs. the 7am start for Modesto.  I’m not thrilled about starting at 8am.  All my training runs start at 7am on the weekends and in this case I’m worried about it getting too hot before I’d done.  Am I worried about heat that isn’t going to happen?  Yes.  Will I be fine with the 8am start?  Yes.  Am I being a silly, self-doubting girl?  Yes.

I’m sure that the temperature will be fine.  Even with an 8am start, I’m planning to be done in 2 hours, 15 minutes which means I’ll be done shortly after 10am.  No biggie.  10am is still early enough that it will be in 50’s.  It’s not like it’s going to be 80 degrees at the start.  Even though I know that the weather will be fine no matter what, I will be stalking the weather to keep on top of it.

Clothing wise, I fully intend to wear capri’s and a short sleeve shirt for the race.  My visor is a must since the course has no trees on it and I hate the sun in my eyes.  Even if it’s not hot, having the sun in my eyes can make being outside unbearable for me.  Visor & sunglasses are a must for me.

Fueling plan last race was 15 minutes before the start and then every 45 minutes after that.  But that didn’t work for the second half of the race.  I don’t want to wait to fuel until I feel like I need to because at that point, it’s too late.  I’m already bonking.  So the tentative plan for this race, is 15 minutes before and every 40 minutes after that for at least 2 cycles.  After that, then I might switch to every 35 minutes depending on how I feel.

Wednesday Run

Yesterdays weather was very strange.  I feel like we’re starting to be like the Bay Area around here.  If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes and it will change.  In the morning I went to work in a dress, thick tights, boots, rain jacket, scarf and gloves.  By the afternoon, my run was done in shorts and a tank top.  And I sweated it up a lot.

Wednesday Run 2

Last night was a 45 minute run with speed work.  My speed work is sporadic it best.  I tend to go out and just run as fast as I can and try to have negative splits.  For some reason I can never remember that I’m supposed to run as fast as I can and then slow and repeat.  4.73 in 45 minutes with an average pace of 9:30 was pretty dang good for me.  I could tell I was working pretty hard but since the wind was blowing it was hard to tell if the accelerated heart rate was from actually running fast or if it was from dealing with head winds.  I think it was a bit of both.

April Abs

Hubby and I both did yesterdays FitFluential April Abs plank.  35 seconds wasn’t much compared to what I had been doing a month ago so it was totally doable.  I don’t think Hubby was impressed at my messing around during the plank while he struggled.  I’ve been there, I get what he’s dealing with but sometimes you have to mess around to keep things interesting.

Race strategy?  Do you have one…besides try not to die?

April is Here & I’m Ready…I Think

April Board

April is here and I figured that it was time I updated my board with my current training schedules and motivation.  For all of March I still had February’s stuff up.  I never took the time to update the board, mostly because I was lazy and partly because it just wasn’t a priority for me.

I love my squirrel calendar.  I know it’s cheesy but by the time I finally got around to buying one Tractor Supply only had this one and tractors.  Tractors just aren’t my thing but I do have an odd love of squirrels.  Too bad none live in my neighborhood.

April Running & Racing Schedule

In addition to my squirrel calendar and my Fleet Feet Training Schedule from 2 years ago (what?  I keep it as a reference point), I have my April Running & Racing Schedule.  I love that I can get free typeable/printable calendars on-line.  It makes it so much easier for me to work out my schedule without having to write everything in pencil and then pen it in when I’ve finalized it.  I love crossing off the days and marking in what shoes I wore as the month goes on.  It helps to keep my on track and feel motivated as well as accomplished as the month goes on.

April is going to be a tough busy month as far as training and racing goes.  I have a half marathon scheduled and a 10 miler.  At this point my long runs are done for the Half since it’s this weekend and my long runs aren’t that long in preparation for the 10 miler three weeks later.  8 miles and 9 miles no longer seem long after running 11 miles and then a half marathon last month.  But I am upping my weekly mileage.  Last month all my Monday/Friday runs were 4 miles.  For April I’m upping them to 5 miles.  And the 4 mile Saturday runs are going to 6 miles.  This may or may not actually happen but I’m going to try it out.  4 miles on Saturday just seemed like a very short run for me.  I would be home in 40 minutes and have the rest of the day which was great but I feel like it’s not challenging me enough, so up goes the miles.

FitFluential April Abs

Last month I did FitFluential’s March Miles challenge.  This month Hubby and I are both doing their April Abs Challenge.  You plank (any version you wish) for the alloted time each day.  The challenge is here if you want to check it out.  We planked to 30 seconds yesterday and as the bad wife I am, I chuckled at Hubby having to really work hard for about the last 15 seconds.  But he got through it and did a great job.  I know that as the times get up past 1:30, I will be struggling too.  But I love the challenge of it all.

April Motivation

This month’s motivation is more of everything that makes it so worth while.  More effort = more satisfied.  The one thing that I don’t have on my board but need is a reminder that when I eat crap food, I feel like crap.  Gotta add that one because it’s so true.  I have not been eating good the last few weeks and I haven’t felt my best.  I  need to get rid of the junk and incorporate more high quality protein and carbs as well as more veggies.  I eat a lot of fruit every day and try for quality foods during the work day but at night it’s been falling apart in a big way.  I don’t want to mention the fact that I ate a whole package of fruit newtons in two days…they were whole wheat!  That makes it not as bad right?  No…I didn’t think so.  I need to make meal planning more of a priority.  Maybe I should update the Training Schedule to say Meal Plan on Thursdays.

What’s on your motivation/training board?

Do you meal plan?  If so, where do you get your ideas?

Lazy Weekend…

I know it’s Tuesday but since yesterday was a holiday here in California, my weekend ran long. Thank you Cesar Chavez, I needed that extra day off (not to mention all the good work you did for farm workers).
Run Recap:

Friday: No run, got my furs done
Saturday: 4 miles
Sunday: 9 miles – last long run before next week’s Running of the Elks Half Marathon
Monday: 4.5 miles – scheduled for 4 but was in such a crabby mood, ran an extra .5 to get me out of my funk.

Running fo the Elks

Next Sunday is the Running of the Elks Half Marathon. This is the Half that initially got me started back on the road of running half marathons and I’m looking forward to it. This week I will be tapering in preparation for this run, so that means less running & more carbs. Yay for carbs, boo for less running. I’m already crabby this week for some unknown reason and less running means more crabby. I’m planning to use my time wisely. I have a list a mile long of things that need to be cleaned or put away that I’m planning to take care of this week. Whether or not it all gets done is another story.

This last weekend was a rainy weekend, not to mention cold. Cold enough to see your breath and not just in the morning. So there was a lot of staying indoors. I know to you east coast people this is nothing but for me, brr. I hate the cold. Saturday I stayed in the whole day except for my run in the morning. Hubby had to work, so me and the dogs sat around watched TV and did some knitting. Sunday, Hubby was home but I still stayed in for most of the day after my long run. I worked on the second sleeve to a sweater I started back in January until a certain dog ate my knitting needle. Monday was short run and then errands for most of the day.  But I did get to replace the dog chewed knitting needles so that part was good.

Low Down Dirty Dog

She doesn’t look guilty at all after eating my needle…bad dog.  Good thing you’re so cute.

How’d you spend your weekend?

Last Long Run…

After yesterdays storm, todays run was crisp and clear.  It’s one of those days that make you glad to be alive and thankful to be moving around under your own power.


My schedule called for an easy long run of 9 miles and that’s just what I did.  9 easy miles in 1:33:16.  Average pace of 10:20.  This is the pace I’d like to maintain for next weeks Running of the Elks half marathon.  This run was my last long run of this training session.  I’ve been feeling a lot tired over the last week so I’m hoping with this taper week I will be able to gain back some of my energy before next week.


I’ve run a lot of miles this month in preparation for Running of the Elks and I still have more miles to run before the month is over.  I’m scheduled to run 4 miles tomorrow to round out the month.  Those 4 miles will be the longest run of the week until Sunday and then the race is on.


I am so looking forward to this race.  I’m hoping that this cooler weather holds until next Sunday.  The course for this race is all in the open with no shade.  I need to defog my glasses before this race and wash my visor.  I’m going to have to create my own shade.


I’ve joined the ranks of people with racing stickers on their car.  I’ve never had stickers on my car before but I feel like I’ve earned the right with 2 halves under my belt and two more scheduled this year.  And possibly more in the fall.  I’m already looking forward to the fall season.

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?