Remote Runner – The San Jose 408K, Race to the Row – Post Race Recap

Disclaimer: I received a Remote Runner Entry into the San Jose 408k Race to the Row to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!


The Race:

The 408k is actually in San Jose, CA but I got a to be a part of this fun event all the way in Golden, CO. Through being a BibRavePro, I got the opportunity to race virtually.

Held on Superbowl Sunday, this was the 9th year of the race in San Jose! Put on by the company Run Local Events, this kicks off their racing season of five races, all part of three different challenges runners can do for more bling.

The 408K, Race to the Row, is a point to point race that features the famous “Mariachi Mile” and “Memorial Mile,” and takes you through some of San Jose’s most charming neighborhoods, including The Alameda business district and the historic Rose Garden, before an exciting finish at Santana Row.

It looks like fun! I’m a little jealous I couldn’t be there for the local event (but not going to lie, running remotely allowed me to sleep in).

As a remote runner, I obviously can’t speak to the local event as a participant, but I can speak to a few things. The swag is super cool, I’ll get it in the mail this week, and I love the race’s communication! I got all the same emails that I would have gotten as if I was running the event locally. I got all the details of what to expect and I think that’s a key part to races. I also saw photos online, noticed that racers get them for free, and it looked like a great time this year!


My Race:

Since I was running remotely, I woke up when the kiddo woke up, fed him, had myself a decent breakfast, and slowly got dressed. I think I ended up leaving for my run around 11am. It was lovely to not have to get up at a certain time to make it to a starting line, or worry about parking or wait in a port-o-john line…

Rollin’ out of my house at 11am….

The course I chose was the Clear Creek Trail in Golden. I have access to this trail within half a mile (or less) from my house and it goes on for miles! It’s relatively flat (though nothing in FLAT in Golden) with only two hills. I decided this would be a great racecourse for my virtual 408K. (that’s 4 – 0 – 8k. It’s an 8 km race).

It was a beautiful winter day! I’m not being sarcastic – I was blessed with bluebird skies and 70-degree weather, in Colorado, in February! It was LOVELY to run in shorts and a t-shirt! The next day, it snowed over a foot. No joke.

1 KM down!

Now, I haven’t been running all that much; pretty much one or two days a week when the weather is nice and I have a chance. So for me to just bust out five miles was not going to be pretty. I decided I was going to break my race into pieces and walk every kilometer (I even switched my Zombies Run app to kilometers). I ended up following my plan perfectly and felt pretty good!  I completed my 8k in 59:37! Not too shabby for walking every kilometer! I didn’t feel completely drained at the end and minus a little bit of hip stiffness and pain (due to postpartum bodily changes), I felt pretty good.

Finished!

I even got some surprise supporters at 7km! I said hi to my cheer section, finished my race and then walked back to join Ben and Layton for the rest of their walk. We then went grocery shopping, I got a “post-race beer” and we chilled out to watch the super bowl.


I cannot wait to get my swag in the mail and hope I can get to the live event sometime in the future; It looks like a fun race!


Check out the event!

NYRR Virtual Turkey Trok – Post Race Recap

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Virtual NYRR Turkey Trot 5k race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!


I did it. I finally got it done. I ran my virtual NYRR Turkey Trot!

I missed the deadline.

I mostly walked.

But…

I got it done!


Between all my jobs, being a mom, cold weather (and lack of an indoor place to workout), car trouble, family obligations…I’ve been finding it hard to get in some runs with or without baby Layton. Last week, I race directed TWO Thanksgiving races; one the weekend before and one on Thanksgiving. That’s why I signed up for a Virtual Turkey Trot so that I could run one on my own time! My “own time” ended up being a few days after the deadline, but such is life!

My Flat Runner picture…about 3 minutes before I ran.

I wasn’t able to get out for a run before December 1st when the Virtual race ended, but I was still determined to participate. All the stars aligned on Tuesday and I had a moment. I fed the baby, bundled him up, put him in the jogging stroller and off we went!

It was a relatively warm day compared to the last week, but the wind was fierce and there was still ice and snow everywhere. I even had to pick up the whole stroller at one point to get over a snowbank on the sidewalk. We mostly walked the 3.1 miles but it felt good to get out and about.


Virtual racing is such an interesting concept to me. I’ve done a few over the years.  A virtual “race” doesn’t mean much to some people. It definitely gives me some motivation to get out for a run, but at the end of the day, it’s just like going for a run on my own. I don’t need a title of a race to run. On the other hand, maybe I wouldn’t have gotten out for a run yesterday had I not had a “race” to do….

Virtual racing does make you feel like you’re part of a nation worldwide community. That’s what I like about the NYRR Virtual races. Through the Facebook group and Strava, you’re partnered with thousands of people around the world that all share at least one thing in common: running.

It’s motivational to be able to share your run with others and see their run through Strava and pictures! You are on the other side of the globe from each other, but you both have a love for running. And that’s pretty cool.


Check out NYRR Virtual Races HERE. They are FREE to sign up for!

Denver Rock N’ Roll 10k – Post Race Review

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Denver Rock n’ Roll 10k race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!


I love checklists; bucket lists and to-do lists. I love being able to cross things off and now, I get to check an item off my running bucket list: Run a Rock n’ Roll event!

See more of my travel and running bucket list items HERE.

I have been coming back to running after having a baby in July and it hasn’t been easy, to say the least, but had picked some races to train for as motivation and that surely has helped to get me out there!

One day, I got a message from the BibRave Pro leaders about doing the Rock N’ Roll Denver race since I lived here. I took a look at my calendar and quickly said yes. I had always wanted to do a Rock n’ Roll race. While I would have loved to do the half marathon, I’m obviously not there yet and signed up for the 10k!

Pre-Race 
I was a little nervous going into this event, as I talk about in my pre-race prep. For one thing, 6.2 miles is quite far three months postpartum. My longest run before that was 4.5 miles. I had no plans of “racing” the Rock n’ Roll race and thought I could treat it as a training run to up my miles for a half marathon I am training for. I wasn’t sure how long it would take me with a run/walk plan and all the information says the 10k has a cap of 1 hour and 30 minutes or you’ll be picked up by the sag wagon, as they call it. I really didn’t want to be picked up by the sag wagon.

I was also nervous about logistics. It had been a LONG time since I’ve done a BIG event and I was anxious about getting parked and to the start.

Goals
I had one goal for this race: to finish. (I guess two goals if you count me not wanting to be picked up by the sag wagon!) I made a mental game plan to walk at every mile marker so that I wouldn’t get so exhausted that I’d have to walk the whole second half of the race.

The Night Before/Morning Of
Being a newbie mom, I still haven’t quite learned my lesson. I SHOULD have lain out all my clothes and gotten my bag ready the night before. But I didn’t. I SHOULD have planned what I was going to do for breakfast. But I didn’t. I SHOULD have prepared a driving/parking plan sooner. But I didn’t. I was so tired the night before after working my own race that I directed, that after the kiddo went to bed, I went to bed. I didn’t even take a #flatrunner picture!

The next morning came way to fast. I woke up, kiddo was still sleeping, so I pumped some fresh milk for his Grandma to feed him. Then I spent 30 minutes running around the house trying to figure out what to wear, what I needed to bring, what to eat for breakfast, and how I’m going to get there. Luckily, the one thing I DID do the night before was reserve a parking spot with Spot Hero. While all the close parking lots were already reserved by that time, I did find a lot for only $2, but it was 3/4 of a mile from the start. What I didn’t know is that my driving route would be altered and rerouted for the actual race course! Ugh. All these years as a runner and I’m still learning.

Race Day
Once I got clothes on my body, food in my belly and found my parking lot, I left the warmth of my car to head to the start line. I didn’t want to mess with bag check because I was short on time and I really didn’t need anything extra other than what I was wearing and my car keys (I was wearing my FlipBelt Capris that has a key ring attachment in them).  It was a chilly race morning. It was hanging in the low 40s, which would have been fine, but the wind was BRUTAL! I had capris, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves and my Buff, fleece-lined headband on. I was pretty content except when the wind would blow (which was pretty much constantly)!

Race Start
I got to the expo okay and found the long bathroom lines. At this point, I was very glad I didn’t mess with bag check because I waited in the bathroom lines for 30 minutes. I got out of the port-o-john right at 6:55am (race start is 7:00am) and jogged to find the actual start line and my corral. Boy was it crowded! I was growing more and more nervous that I would miss the start even though I knew it was chipped timed (I just like starting in the big group!). I found where my corral was but I couldn’t get in it! There were barricades up and so many people that a bunch of us were just waiting at the one small break in barricades until the crowd got a little more spread out. Once the race actually started (the wheelchair race first), I was able to slip into the start line and make my way up to my actual corral. Phew!

The Race
I’ll have you know, I stuck to my plan! While this may seem like a “duh” moment, racers (including myself) tend to break all plans when actually running. The adrenaline of being around a big crowd usually makes you run harder/faster than you intend. My plan was to walk at every mile marker for just a few minutes so I wouldn’t get burnt out by the halfway mark. Let me tell you when you pull off to the side to walk at mile one and NO ONE ELSE IS WALKING, it’s really hard not to just pick the pace back up and push through. It’s almost embarrassing, even though I know it shouldn’t feel that way, and all I wanted to do was yell at everyone that looked at me, “I JUST HAD A BABY THREE MONTHS AGO! LEAVE ME ALONE!”

My plan was going very well until mile four…where I missed the mile marker. So I did end up running from mile three to mile five. I kept thinking my self, “It sure feels like it’s been longer than a mile, I’m getting tired,” and sure enough, the mile five marker appeared. “Phew,” I told myself and promptly stopped to walk!

The course wasn’t too difficult, but the wind made it a bit harder. Why did it feel like the wind was always head on no matter which way we turned!?

Other than missing mile four, I felt pretty good! My hip flexors did start hurting halfway through and I could definitely feel my ankles and knees getting tired, but I still had a little bit of oomph to give it a burst of speed into the finish line!

I ended up finishing in 1:11, way faster than I thought I would be! And the sag wagon didn’t have to bring me in.

I’m very glad it was Rock n’ Roll event. There were bands almost every mile and they were all really good and fun! In my 10k race, I probably saw four or five bands! The music was certainly helpful since I forgot my headphones (see the previous paragraph about not preparing the night before).

Race Review:
T-Shirt/Swag – 5/5
I do love the swag of this race. The shirt is cute and fits well and I love the medal! Rock n’ Roll did a great job on the medal. It is very unique and specific for Colorado; it’s the flag with the Denver skyline and a columbine (our state flower).

Aid Stations/Support – 5/5
They get another 5 our 5 on this one! For the 10k, there were three (I believe; there might have been one more…I can’t remember) aid stations with water and Gatorade Endurance. They had plenty of volunteers handing out the drinks.

There was also great support at the end of the race. As soon as I finished I was handed my medal and a heat sheet (the wind was pretty chilly that day and once I stopped running I got very cold). The finish corral was lined with water, Gatorade Endurance, and snacks!

Course Itself/Scenery/Difficulty – 4/5
The course was pretty fun. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite course by any means, but definitely a great way through the city. There were parts of it that wound through random streets of Denver where I thought they could have chosen better streets (although being a race director myself, I’m sure this has everything to do with finding the correct distance with the streets Denver permits would allow the use of and avoiding construction). The 10k course wasn’t too difficult; there were two “big” hills that I think wouldn’t have felt big if I was better trained. If I were from another state, this course would be a great way to see the city, that’s for sure!

Expo Quality – 4/5
Okay, let me start by saying the expo at packet pick up (and on race day) was great. It was fun, plenty to do and see and new products to try. Picking up my packet and swag was quick and easy and holy-moly do they have a ton of extra swag items you could have purchased! The only reason this is not a 5 out 5 if because I had to pay for parking. I’m sorry, but I’m a firm believer that if I’ve already registered for a race (yes, this one was free for me, but I’m reviewing as if I paid for it), that it should include everything. Heck, I’d be fine if the race price increased by $5 if it means I don’t have to pay for parking. It’s the principal of the matter. I’ve already paid for a race and now I have to pay more money just to get my packet? I have always thought that was wrong and have experienced this with a few other events in the past.

Parking/Access – 2/5
I really wish they could find a start/finish area that had more free parking or at least parking closer to the area. You already read how I feel about added costs after registering for a race and this is no different. The race was at Civic Center Park in Downtown Denver and there’s really not any large amount of parking anywhere near there. There are a ton of small lots and garages all around, but they all cost money and they all require walking. The closest lots that were less than a quarter of a mile walk were all reserved a few days before but they cost anywhere from $15 to $20. I found a lot for only $2 (go me!) but it was 0.75 miles away. On the way to the start, it was no big deal, but when I was finished with the race, it felt like a marathon’s distance away and I was freezing walking back to my car. Rock n’ Roll did advertise with Spot Hero, which I used to reserve my spot. This was the first time I’ve used it and it seemed to work out okay – there was a spot available when I got there and my car was still there when I got back! That part did help ease some nerves of race morning logistics so I didn’t have to stress about finding a spot or carrying cash for parking.

Race Management – 5/5
It’s a Rock n’ Roll race, of course it’s managed well! I mean, everything is organized, communication is spot on and the course is well marked and supported. I don’t think a big organization like this can afford to be lazy with any of the management side of things.

Overall 4/5
Overall, I think this race is a great way to experience Denver and I can only assume every city is like that. So many people travel for races and what better way to see a city than by running the streets. At the Denver race, even the 10k course was a great jaunt through the city as you pass iconic places like Coors Field and popular Denver streets. I bet the half marathon course covers even more of Denver’s favorite sights.

I’m quite impressed with the whole Rock n’ Roll theme. I have always heard good things from people and the appeal of the theme has always been there. It’s a very unique thing to have a TON of bands on the course for you to enjoy as you run by. I also love that the rock n’ roll theme, as well as the specific city theme, is followed through everything from the decor, to the music, to the swag designs. I love that there was a live band at the finish and wish I could have stayed longer to enjoy it. The finish line/expo looked really fun! I could totally see this as a great event to enjoy with friends/family and hang out for a fun Sunday morning.

So why a four out of five? Well, obviously the extra costs are one thing. The race is already pretty pricy and there are a ton of extra costs like parking and pictures. When you have to pay to park at the expo and on race day, I think that’s quite ridiculous. And why, oh why, aren’t pictures free!?! Get a sponsor to slap their logo all over the pictures and let racers have them free!

Also, there were not nearly enough port-o-johns. I waited for 30 minutes. That’s a long time and there were TONS of people behind me. Lastly, I think the start corral could have been a little more organized. It was such a cluster to find how to get into the corral for one thing but it just wasn’t big enough to fit all the racers. I got stuck on the outside of the barricades in the crowd and couldn’t get into my corral until the race started and the crowded spread out just a bit. That part made me nervous as I like to start with my actual corral.

Would I recommend this race? Yes, for out of towners. For locals, it’s just another expensive race, with extra costs, around the city with music. If you’re from out of state – yes, come run this race and know that it will be managed well, with great state-specific swag and have a great time!


Post Race
After finishing the race, I was handed my medal and a heat sheet as well as an arms full of drinks and snacks. I sat down to eat a granola bar and drink chocolate milk while I listened to the post-race entertainment band. I didn’t get to stick around for too long since I needed to get back and relieve my babysitter (kiddo’s grandma). I shivered and snuggled in my heat sheet as I walked back to my car. I was feeling pretty tight in my hips and calves but not too bad for running a 10k, my longest distance postpartum. That afternoon, I took an Epsom salt bath and the next day I wasn’t even sore! I’d say that’s a win for my first race post-baby!

OH, and I’m still working on this whole motherhood thing…


See this race on BibRave.com

Rock N’ Roll Denver 10k – Pre Race Prep

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Denver Rock n’ Roll 10k race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!


I meant to write this post over a week ago, but here we are, the night before the Denver Rock n’ Roll. I’m doing the 10k tomorrow and I’m getting a little nervous.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a running event as a participant, let alone a BIG running event. Although, now that I think about it, I did go to the Bolder Boulder earlier this year but that’s a repeat event for me and I have my routine down to a “T.” The Rock n’ Roll, on the other hand, is a big and unfamiliar event. I have to worry about parking, getting to the start line, checking my bag, finding my corral…. all on top of actually running!

This will be my first “race” postpartum and even though I don’t plan on “racing” it, I plan on using it to increase my mileage. I’m really excited to participate in a Rock n’ Roll event for the first time! I’ve heard great things about the series and can’t wait.

While my only goal for tomorrow is to simply finish, I am a little worried. The longest run I’ve done postpartum was 4.5 last weekend. My plan tomorrow is to run a mile at a time. I think I am going to run a mile, walk for a few minutes, run to the next mile marker and so on.  I feel like this would get me through the race without feeling too tired at the end and without being picked up by the “sag wagon” (the 10k course cut-off is only 1.5 hours)!

So, I’ve booked my parking spot, have the route mapped out to the start line and am prepping my clothes!