Laguna Hills Half Marathon

On Memorial Day I ran the Laguna Hills Half Marathon supporting the USMC. This was a race I had signed up for just because I needed a half marathon before the summer. I didn’t realize the amount of military support that was going to be there or the significance of the race to the military bases around the area. The race is actually a 5k/10k/Half everyone starts at the same time. During the race the 5k and 10k runners end up taking turns that lead them off the course and the half marathon people keep on running. I don’t spend a lot of time in Laguna Hills so I had no idea what to expect on the course. Needless to say when a town has the world hills in it’s name you should expect quite a few of them. The elevation change wasn’t dramatic overall, but the majority of the course was spent running uphill or downhill. I managed to complete my best time for a half marathon, which is lucky considering the past couple of months had been spent nursing my foot back to health and not getting in as much training as I would have liked.

They used gemini timing for the race which gave us these reusable timing chips. I think they are a lot better and a lot less wasteful than a lot of the ones that are used.

Overall I liked the race, didn’t like the hills. I will probably do it again next year since it wasn’t very expensive and running hills is a good thing, right?

Review Powerbeats 2 Wireless

I am a runner and really enjoy being out in the morning before anyone is up and able to get some miles in before work. I enjoy running while listening to music or books on tape. I was using the Jaybird Bluebuds X headset, but decided I wanted something that would stay in my ears a little better so I got the Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless.

I loved the design and I loved the fact that they had an over the ear clip that helped them stay in my ear and still allowed me to use the phone controls and talk on the phone while running.

What I have decided that I don’t like is the fact that the bluetooth radio on them is really weak. If I have my phone on my right arm or in my spandex fanny peck depending on how I turn my head my music will cut in and out. It’s really distracting and kind of a pain. I have had the headphones replaced once already and while Apple support was great and immediately issued an RMA and sent me a replacement set of headphones I am still unhappy that the issue is still there. Not sure why there is such a weak radio in this headset as I didn’t have this issue with my Jaybirds.

That being said I still like how they stay in my ears better than the Jaybirds so to combat the problem I have had to move my arm holster to my left arm. This seems to have solved the issue and haven’t noticed the music cutting out once since I did this.

So overall impression is they have a good feel the controls work well, you just have to be wary of where the Bluetooth Source is and that it might cut out on you.

Brea 8k Review

This weekend I ran the Brea 8k. I had seen flyers for the race while I was in the “A Snails Pace” running store. 8k seemed like a weird distance, but the race was on a weekend that I didn’t have anything going so I signed up for it.

This morning however as I got up for the race I was really tired and was thinking about skipping it and staying home to sleep. I am glad that I didn’t for several reasons:

  1. A heck of a lot of people ran this race, this wasn’t some small town race.
  2. The course is a lot of fun, there are quite a few hills both up and down.
  3. The food at the end of the race was a real treat. All of the food vendors at the end were a welcome retreat.
  4. Lots of kids and people with dogs run the race.

The race started at 7:30am with the Master’s version of the 8k, not sure what that means. It was a USATF event, and the runners who did the masters race were all done before we started at 8am. I only wish I had the speed at which they run. We cheered them on as they ran past us before our start.

For the rest of us mere mortals the race started out at 8am and we took off. The race runs through the streets of Brea, they only had mile markers at 2miles, 5k, and 4miles. Otherwise we were on our own to figure out our distance and such. There had to be several thousand people running the race, but the course really didn’t bunch up except for at the beginning. The course was fun the hills were tough going up and the down was a welcome relief.

By far the best part of this course is the finish line at the Brea Mall. As you go across the finish line you are then redirected into the food court. This food court had a wonderful assortment of food from Rubio’s, BJ’s, Slaters 50/50, Corner Bakery, Subway, Nothing Bundt Cake, and Ralphs. I think there were a few more, but by the time I visited all of these vendors I was full and ready for a nap. In most cases the food was made fresh and while it wasn’t a whole meal it was a good portion to get a taste of the different vendors.

After I was done stuffing my face I was finally able to check my phone and see my pace/time, I was really impressed with 10:30/miles. I just need to see what the official time says when they post it later in the day. It was by far my best race pace for a long distance. Next year I will definitely plan on doing this race again and won’t dread getting up in the morning as I go to run the race.

When to replace your running shoes

This past weekend I participated in the Rundisney “Rebel Challenge” this was a 10k and a half in the same weekend. I had done this last year during the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend. I wasn’t too worried about it until 2 weeks before I managed to hurt my foot and I was basically incapacitated and couldn’t walk. I wasn’t sure if I would be doing anything this past weekend because of the pain I was in. After 2 weeks of RICE I was able to run the races. The time wasn’t important, what was important to me was that I completed the races and got my bling. At the end of the day that is mostly why I run the races. However during the races something else interesting happened, I got a huge blister on the foot that wasn’t hurt. I didn’t think anything of it, until I started reading about when to replace your shoes. I had worn this same pair of shoes for two other Half Marathons and several 10Ks, when I looked at my Nike App I realized I was somewhere in the realm of 350 miles. Those were just the miles that had gotten recorded when the watch was actually working, so it’s possible I was closer to 400 or so miles in these shoes.

As part of my rehab I have been walking a couple of miles a day to get my feet back to the point I can run again, I have done several miles with my old shoes and then several with a new pair. The new pair has made a huge difference in not irritating my foot injury or the blister that I managed to get. So at this point I have a feeling that I should have replaced this pair of shoes sooner and not ignored the nagging pain and injuries I was experiencing before.

Lesson learned, listen to your body more and don’t discount when your feet hurt.