Attempted Runner.


Race Recap: Brazen Racing – Badger Cove

This time two years ago, I ran a St. Patty themed road race. It was in the middle of town, cold and a little boring. I just remember thinking that I wanted to veer off course to Los Pericos and continuously had the repeated montra going through my head….is this done yet?

This year….things were a little bit different.

This year I spent my St. Patrick’s Day weekend with my fellow Brazenites at Badger Cove. I’ll skip the normal blog routine of telling about my morning and heading straight to waiting by the parks payphone…yes, they still exist!, while I waited for J.
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It was a glorious day. It was slightly cold with a crisp breeze but the sun was out and soon to be heating up, so what more could you ask for? After hanging out with the endangered species (the payphone), J and I went over to pick up our bibs.

Yes Folks, we didn’t do early bib pickup this time either and it still went ok. I got my bib, t-shirt and goodie bag before heading over to the shoe donation box. I gave away three pairs, so hopefully someone can get some good use out of them since I never did. We we went back to the car, dropped off the goodie bags and started to get ready.

As I was tying my shoes, “That girl,” came over and we chatted a bit, which was nice. That’s when I found out that most of the people I know we’re going to run Bagder Cove with some sort of injury.

We’re either stupid or badgerasses.

We made our way to the starting line and did a few pre race stretches, photos and goofing off. As Sam let the 10k’ers loose, that was when J and I went over to drop our stuff off at sweat check. As the wind picked up and it got slightly more chilly, it was then that I forgot to use my inhaler. Lung be damned! So, rather than sweatcheck, we just walked back to the car to drop off our stuff and take a few Xopenex puffs because…ya know, I didn’t feel like not being able to breath any time soon.

After a bunch of back and forth walking, I was pretty warmed up and ready to go. We lined up, I turned my iPod on (it was fully charged this time!!!), and started up Garfield. I was highly shocked when I got GPS within 2 seconds. No joke….2 seconds!

Mr. Brazen began our countdown and soon enough, I’m crossing the starting line and running out with the lot of them.

I hit a bottleneck and slowed to a walk. I told J that I was done, giggled, made it out the bottleneck and bobbed and weaved around people. The first 1/8ish mile was on the paved path between the parking lot and lake. I crossed the boat ramp and straight onto the dirt path. The dirt traik was the width of a fireroad which was nice because it allowed plenty of space to get around people. However, it was also gravelly. It’s very tiring running on gravel. I think more muscles are used to keep you steady.

The difference of road and trail races, are that road races are usually flat paved courses that don’t take any additional effort, but usually boring because its just building after building, with a few intersection and gas stations in between. Trail races are sooooo much better because the scenery is just absolutely beautiful. On the downside, it’s so much exhausting because likei mentioned, you are working harder just to keep from slipping on rocks, jumping over holes, climbing up dirt hill.

All and all, trail running has an Utopian effect.
I did wear my new, New Balance Trail shoes and I felt so much more confident when running the different/uneven dirt/rocky surfaces. I can totally tell the traction difference between my 860 trail and 860 road shoes. I’m glad for that purchase!

Anyway, about 1/4 in was a hill. There was one or two small ones that I already passed but were easy enough that I didn’t consider them hills. So, when I reached the hill at 1/4 ish miles, I did my best. My calfs were feeling a little sore and I was only able to make it 75% up before I walked the rest. I figured it was better to do that because if my calves were tired now, they would be useless on the return. I also tried to save some energy for my hip flexor. I got to the top of the hill and started running again. The first mile marker appeared the same time the water station did.

I opted to skip the water station and just have a drink of the water I had with me on my hydration belt. Despite there being a ton of people and my decision probably wouldn’t have mattered, I figured to skip the water stop because the first water stop for the 5k, 10k and half marathon runners was also the second water stop for the 5k, the third (?) for the 10k and both the third (?) and fifth (?) for the half. As it was now getting warmer, I figured the 10k/half runners could use that Dixie cup a lot more than I needed it.

I drank my own water and continued on my way towards the turn around….which actually arrived sooner than I expected, just after the second hill that I was only able to run up 50% before needing to walk the rest. I high fived Mountain Bob (that was his name, right?) and began the fun part of running down the hill. I continued running until the water stop, which again, skipped by drank my own water.

By the third mile, I was getting tired and did a rotation between a run and walk. I ran the flats, walked the base of the hills, tried to run up them, walked the top then ran down. Rinse and repeat. I made it back to the boat ramp (pavement) and felt like I couldn’t go anymore. My hip started getting tired (it lasted a long time without pain!!!), so although the finish line arch was in my sights, I walked for a few feet then forced myself to run the rest.

I was soooo close to being under 40, but it didn’t happen. I blame the hills. I finished in 40:13. The good news, my hip wasn’t nearly as in pain as it was at previous runs. I didn’t start walking funny until later that night when I went grocery shopping. Score one for progress. Hey, its something.

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I picked up my medal, grabbed a muscle milk and took some mandatory post race photos. J and I didn’t hang out long because we both were hungry.
On the way to lunch, we stopped off at the Under Armour outlet. Bad decision.
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I got a mighty fine bonus at work and it was hard to not spend it all there. Don’t worry, I didn’t. I only spent $166 of it there. I got some mailman looking shorts, a lightweight sweatshirt, a pair of running shorts and three of the best damned tank tops ever made. The victory tank is the best one to run in. It doesn’t move or get covered in sweat. It’s fantastic. I have one in every color and you won’t see me at a race in anything but the UA Victory tanks (ok, there were like 4 runs that I’ve done in non tanks, but you get the idea). By the time we were in the Nike outlet, I was getting even more hungry so what better way to finish a race and some shopping with an egg burger from Red Robin? The egg burger is the Royal Red Robin Burger that has a fried egg on top. Trust me, I never would have ordered this a year or so ago but got it by accident and didn’t want to be that person to send food back so I ate it and havent ordered another burger since. It’s that good.

As I was starving and my mouth watering, our waiter brought out our food only for me to realize that they put blue cheese crumbles on mine.
1. Eww and 2. I had to be that person and send it back, only because I’m “allergic” (it contains gluten). It just made me even hungrier that I had to wait longer, but the minute my new correctly made burger came out…everything was right in the world.
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After stuffing my face with my beloved egg burger, we went to Sports Authority (I got an armband to hold my phone while running) and R.E.I (some injini socks to test out), before J and I parted ways. It was a busy morning but fun none the less.
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But all this talk about egg burgers is making me hungry, so I’m cutting this short and going to make some dinner.

Do you prefer trail or road races?

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14 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I’m so jealous of the variety of Brazen races you have. There’s nothing like that around here 😦

Comment by Pandora Viltis

Yea. That’s one of the only good things that are offered around here…that I’m interested in anyway. Google local races and see if you got any. There has to be at least one within a 50-100 mile radius.

Comment by Attempted Runner

Oh, we have races, just not ones that seem as consistently interesting or well organized as your Brazen ones.

Comment by Pandora Viltis

Ahh yes. Brazen does have one up and theyve only been doing it for 3-4 years or so. If your ever in Northern California on vacation, schedule it around one of their 24, soon to be 26 and counting, races.

Comment by Attempted Runner

Wow! That will definitely be on my to do list if I ever get lucky enough to travel there!

Comment by Pandora Viltis

I really love Brazen and I wish they would manage every race out there because they are simply the best. That said, if you held a gun to my head and made me choose between road and trail I’d probably go with road. It would be a tough call though.

My absolute favorite distance is the marathon and I love the way I can lock into a rhythm between miles 5 and 20. Throw in some rolling hills to mix things up and I’m tickled.

I agree with your point about the scenery at trail races, but I ran the Napa Valley Marathon a few weeks ago and the scenery is as good or better than any scenery you’ll find at a trail event.

I also think about the energy at a large city marathon like New York – the excitement, the energy, the people.

But like I said, it’s a tough call. I equally love the peacefulness and tranquility in a trail race. I love the low-key atmosphere. I also think trail runners are more fun to hang out with than road runners.

Ultimately it all comes down to rhythm for me. I just love the places I can take my brain for several hours during a marathon. It’s almost like stepping outside yourself. It’s tough to explain.

I don’t have any Brazen races on my calendar at the moment, although I’ll be working an aid station at Diablo. I was going to do Dirty Dozen (the 12 hour) but after finishing Napa I decided to do the SF Marathon instead.

Great write up, as always.

Comment by Big D

You know which aid station yet at Diablo? I’ll be doing that, of course. Most likely you’ll be higher up on the mountain though. I can see your point about the excitement if road races. The only “big” ones I’ve done are RunDisney half and the mini marathon for RnR San Jose. I assume if I was at something as amazing as NYC, Boston, the London Marathon, etc. Then perhaps my perspective might change. But for now, there is not a whole lot of excitement on 5-10k road races. One day though. How did you do at Napa? Also, I don’t know if I’d call Napa a road race. Although it’s paved, it’s more like a country race. It brings the scenery of trails and the comfort of pavement.

Comment by Attempted Runner

I don’t know which aid station yet but I’ll shoot something out on twitter once I know. Of course I’ll yell and scream if I see you on the course.

I set a new marathon PR at Napa 🙂 I had so much fun I already registered for 2015.

I wanted to get one big city marathon under my belt before I run NYC in November which is another reason I’m doing SF.

Comment by Big D

You keep setting PRs the way you are and come NYC you’ll perform exceptionally well. You can do it!!

Comment by Attempted Runner

It’s 4 wheel Bob, who climbs mountains – so dint mess with him at the turn around 🙂

And…I love the trail races, but I’m not sure I’d run any that are not run by Brazen. I’ve become very attached to them. But I also love the Run Disney Races, and had a great time at RNR. If someone held a gun to my head and told me to choose…I’d probably end up dead. Lol! Great job this weekend. Can’t wait to do it again…like 20 more times.

Comment by Runningfromitall

I have a related but unrelated question. Now that you’ve done so many Brazen races have you reached the point where you don’t even bother taking the goody bag at bib pickup? How many samples of Shave Secret can a person use?

Oh, and let’s be honest, we’ve all purchased a bottle of Zeasorb because of the $1 off coupon 🙂

Comment by Big D

Hahaha. I still grab it because I really like the sierra crunch. The other stuff I give out. I keep the shave secret, but never use it and I never tried the zeasorb nor have I used any coupons what’s so ever. Probably the next race, I’ll leave it. Or take the sierra crunch and put the rest back. Hahah.

Comment by Attempted Runner

I ran a 5K back in December that was sort of half-road and half-trail, and most of the trail part was on gravely fire roads like yours. Oof, my legs were exhausted after barely a quarter-mile on the gravel… my muscles were definitely not used to that surface, especially as I was wearing road shoes! It was fun to mix it up for a change, though. I’d be curious to try a trail race near me (Massachusetts… my hybrid race was in California) to see how different it would be.

Thanks for the review of the Victory Tank! Might be worth checking out the next time I’m at the UA outlet near me 🙂

Comment by dgobs

Yes! Look into trail runs. I actually think there is a company in Mass. that puts on weekend retreats where it’s trail runs, food and beer (it’s bold in the brochure). I bet mass. has pretty trails!

There are a few colors on cleatence on the victory tank but the outlets have a few more colors. I probably have 15 now. They are my favorite.

Comment by Attempted Runner




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