I’m not really sure what an official race report looks like so consider this format the mobile catchfoot-special.
I didn’t train as regularly for this race as I had the previous, summer season. Weekly mileage was between 10-15 miles at best at a never wavering 10 minute mile pace. Going into this race I decided I would not aim to PR, but just enjoy the challenge.
The night before the race I ate a healthy meal of creole food including étouffée and vegan jambalaya. A very bold move, I know. I felt awesome and energized the next morning despite having some residual soreness in my quads from running hills earlier in the week. I ate half an apple, had a huge cup of coffee, and was out the door by 7:30a for an 8 o’clock start time at Berkeley’s civic centre.
Cruised through downtown Berkeley. The weather was gorgeous: sunny and crisp. I wore a fleece band to cover my ears (wind tunnels) from the elements, and snuck some headphones underneath as well. Yep, for all of my ranting about music while running detracting from the experience, I decided to listen to some tunes for this race. I’ve had a few more positive experiences recently with music and figured it wouldn’t kill me. Or, it would and I didn’t mind. People were laughing, chatting, instagramming, and I made a Vine.
Dear god, whose idea was this? We got out of the city and into a Bay frontage road which sounds lovely except for the fact that it was an out-and-back. We ran down 2+ miles, the whole way, staring into the faces of the glistening elite runners who had already started back on the opposite side of the trail. How awesome for them to see the sea of people they were better than: the 99% chugging along, 2-3 miles behind. Once I was running back, all I saw were old ladies striding and well, other people who were probably not equipped to run even a 5k. But whatever, good for them! After all, it was a gorgeous day and this was all in good fun! Up until mile 7 I was right behind the 2:00 completion pacing group— running much quicker than I had realized I could. Scared that I may actually up the bar for myself, I subconsciously fell back. I turned off my headphones and just listened to the sounds of feet pummeling gravel and my own huffing along the bay shore.
The best part. Here, we ran along the water, on narrow trails. Probably too narrow, but we made it work. I saw one woman stop to pull off a toenail but otherwise nothing to report. Calm, steady, enjoyable.
More switch backs. There really is nothing worse than running down and having to turn around. So much fertile earth to pound, why not just elongate the course? Now behind the 2:10 pacers.
Gravel. All loose gravel. It was worse than running in sand because you could easily roll an ankle. Thankfully no one was injured.
The cruelest mile. The course had been flat up until this point and some people approached the enormous hill at the end of the race as a welcome challenge. Me? Not so much. My quads had started to ache and my knees buckled at the sight. But I literally closed my eyes, flapped my arms, and powered through, keeping pace. Immediately after the hill climb, we descended and actually finished the race downhill. The clock said 2:19 and I was like, yeah… I figured. But then remembered I was 3 of 5 waves and actually started ten minutes later! So my final time was :2:10… almost a minute better than my last race. I am nothing if not consistent, eh?
Melbs and Nala were waiting for me at the finish line. We walked the beach afterward, met up with so friends for beer and macaroni, rode bikes and had a joyous celebration.
Good inaugural event. Super well organized, and beautiful course. Was definitely more trail running than was advertised, and the switchbacks were unnecessary. I’m pleasantly surprised with my time.
Today, I’m walking as though I have wooden legs.
My next race is in January, at Disney. Maybe I’ll go for a PR? Or maybe not!