Wow! I went running tonight only to realize I forgot to post my Valley Crest Half Marathon Review last week… hahaha… Please forgive me, my mind is on overload due to our house-buying process. Did I mention we are buying a house in Ventura, CA?? We are so excited!!! We hope to close this week. Needless to say, my evenings after work have been filled with decorating websites, picking out paint colors, etc. I wrote this post last week and was just meaning to add pictures before posting and I completely forgot.
Luckily, I received two bags of Energy Bits tonight in the mail courtesy of the Energy Bits Brand Ambassador program. What a great company to be involved with!! If 10 bags are sold with your discount code, you get a free bag!! I couldn’t be more stoked. Plus, Catharine Arnston, the fabulous CEO sent me a letter. If you’re interested in the Energy Bits Brand Ambassador program, please don’t hesitate to email me with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So tonight, I ate 30 energy bits and went out for a beautiful run in my new home town of Ventura with my husband. It was perfect weather with views of the mountains and sunset at every turn. It was a little piece of heaven except for the three walker look alikes that appeared to jump out of the show The Walking Dead. Watch out for them walkers. Yeah, I’m not sure what was going on. Anway, here is my original post from last week:
Post I forgot about last week: 🙂
Tonight while I was re-running the Valley Crest Half Marathon in my mind, I turned the corner to see at least 100 people cheering and celebrating the Supreme Court Decision today to move this country in the right direction: Away from hate and acknowledging love above all. Tears welled up in my eyes as I realized how much this day means to me and what this day must mean to all these folks on the corner. “WOOOO!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!” I could hardly keep the words in my mouth.
A resounding “WE WON!!!” echoed through the crowd as I ran through. I couldn’t resist taking some pictures of the individuals, couples, and families that were happily celebrating their well deserved rights today. Thankfully, I was running barefoot tonight for a nice 5 mile afterwork run, and I could feel the energy coursing through me from the ground and all the joy connecting us. I ran a little further, and I could hear some music. It was so beautiful, that I stopped and looked around, trying to figure out where it was coming from. I kept going and turned down the sidewalk to go down a little bike path behind our apartments, and I was getting closer to the music. Finally, I got to the edge of a tunnel. At the other end, a man was playing his saxophone to no one in particular, but was completely lost in it. I’m partial to the sax, as I used to play when I was little 🙂 I stood there and watched him for about 5 minutes as he played the most beautiful song. It was celebratory, but solemn all at the same time, as if he was saying to everyone out there celebrating, “Well, it’s about time, isn’t it?” The saxophonist and the group were totally separate, but seemed connected to each other somehow, and I to them. The song reverberated in the tunnel so perfectly that I was thankful I was there to hear it, even if I was the only one there to listen.
So how does this all relate to the Valley Crest Half Marathon? Well I’m not really sure it does, except for the part about being connected to some quality folks in one place at the same time. Two weeks ago, Mike and I showed up to the Valley Crest Half Marathon to discover that we felt like we were coming to a reunion from the Born to Run Ultramarathons . Some of the same people were there that we met including my buddy David in the cowboy hat and his crew. I also met some new friends including one great guy named Jacobus that had heard my interview with Caity McCardell of http://www.runbarefootgirl.com. I was so excited! It feels great to be a part of the running community here in California, and I finally feel like I’m home; this is where we belong.
The weather was perfect for a race day here in California: It was a little drizzly and cloudy, which was perfect for keeping the heat at bay. The course was delightful and rolling, located on the Mulholland fire road in the Santa Monica Mountains. It was a “T” shaped course, which was nice because you almost always knew what was ahead. I felt strong on the hills because Mike has been torturing me lately by taking me on the steepest hills in Southern California. Not to mention, I’ve done a few “Hill Runs” with the Ventura County Trail Runners, which is a total joke. The “hill” is more like a small Mt. Everest in the middle of Ventura that can only reasonably be crawled up and down, no running is actually possible. But nevertheless, this self inflicted hill torture beautifully prepared me for all the hills on the trail and in life, and I almost sickeningly enjoy them now. I think I’ve caught Mike’s hill obsession disease.
Again, this was a happy, happy race for me. I don’t know if it’s California, trail running, the people, or Energy Bits that makes me feel high on life while participating in these races, but I feel like I could just go all day. It’s probably all of the above. I decided I would eat two servings (30 bits) of Energy Bits while running every 45 minutes during the half marathon. I figured I would probably run around the 2 hour mark, so I knew this would be perfect.
This course has an epic downhill finish. Probably the last two miles are downhill, which was ridiculously fun if you’re confident with your downhill running. Unfortunately, I saw people picking their way down, but I felt totally confident with my energy level, my eccentric control and endurance with my quads(thanks to Energy Bits which naturally facilitates the release of nitric oxide ie a powerful vasodilator, allowing for more efficient delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscles in need), and my footing. The wonderful thing about minimalist running is that it allows the runner to feel the ground underneath them… with all the rocks shifting underneath, the toes are able to splay and respond to the changing environment. I’ve been loving my Vibram Spyridons for trails around here in California. They have great tread to prevent slippage, and a rock block under the mid foot to prevent sharp rocks from hitting where it hurts. I’ve really found myself actually needing this extra protection around here because of the rocks, the dry dirt slipping underneath me, and the STEEP hills. Seriously, I’ve never climbed and descended hills this steep.
So, I was holding a great pace on the way to the finish, and feeling great. The last approximately 0.10 or 0.20 mile is a STEEP downhill with loose rocks to come across the finish. This was exciting, as spectators were lined along the hill, cheering and bringing the runners in. I was borderline out of control as I made my own little switchbacks (I call this my downhill skiing technique) down the hill, trying not to fall on my face in front of all the spectators. I still have yet to fall during a race, but I know my time will come soon. I made it across the finish line in 1:53:19, which is a new PR for a trail half marathon for me. I was also lucky enough to score 2nd place in my age group!! SWEET! My new friend Alisa also placed in her age group, not to mention smoked me with her time. I hope to see her again soon! I received a little trophy, and a brand new pair of my favorite Injinji toe socks as a prize. What a great day!! Thanks to David Santiago for the photo below.
After the race, Mike and I took the next hour or so to talk with our new friends, shower up, then we went and looked at houses. And guess what? It was that day that we found the house that we fell in love with. A great day all around, a great day. Can’t wait for the next race!!