Last weekend was the definition of a humble summer getaway. I knew going into this summer that going on an extravagant summer vacation would not be in the cards this year—primarily due to work demands—but I am grateful for being able to have things fall in place so that I was able to have more than one occasion to visit the family.
I thought my weekend in June would be my only opportunity this summer, but thankfully, things worked out so that another weekend trip would be possible!
True, I still had to work on Wednesday, and was up at the early morning hour of 4AM in order to pack and get all of my critical, time-sensitive tasks done, but at least two things made my day.
#1 was having B&J’s Cherry Garcia Frozen Yogurt for “breakfast”, and realizing that I ended up satisfying a hidden cherry craving I didn’t know I had until I demolished the pint in 20 minutes.
#2 was taking in this gorgeous sunset during my evening/night bus trip up north. We were at a rest stop around 8pm, and I couldn’t help but admire the sky and its golden beauty…
I made it to Oakland around midnight, and was picked up by my Dad. We were both too tired to keep a cohesive conversation going, but we made it home safely and I promptly hit the hay.
Since my parents are in the middle of a move, the next two days were spent primarily at home, since we had to be available when the painters, contractors, and realtor were around. Besides going out for a run, or going to the gym with Dad, I spent those 48 hours either eating, napping, or watching TV. The life I tell ya…
I did find some time to make it out to my favorite discount grocery store though, and was able to find this somewhat rare flavor from B&J’s Greek line…
I call it rare since I haven’t been able to find it in the LA area anyways! Plus, it says “Still a Pint!” along the lid, so I’m assuming that there must have been some confusion about this flavor not existing anymore…
Well, I certainly wasn’t confused after taking the first couple of spoonfuls. There was definitely a fruity tang with each spoonful (pretty much how a frozen Chobani would taste), but the sweetness from the fudge chunks was just enough to balance out that. It was quite impressive to see how one simple mix-in could do so much to “rescue” a flavor!
I bid my last goodbye to my childhood home on Saturday morning, and my Dad and I drove off towards Lake Chabot to finally run a race together! He has been on a “5K-a-Day” regimen lately, and when he suggested that he we sign up for a race together, I immediately started looking for any and all races that we could do together over the summer.
The Bad Bass 5k/10k/Half Marathon fit our schedules, but it was far from being a simple run in the park. It was where this race that I participated in at the tail end of last year took place, and I remember the hills being extra killer. Even the race organizers call it an ULTRAhalf, and the course is part of their “Ultra Half Challenge”.
It was somewhat chilly when we arrive in the parking lot, but I was able to walk comfortably in my shorts + tee over to the starting area. The weather was much more tolerable when compared to how things were back in December!
Even though the course wasn’t expected to be, packet pick-up was quite easy. I’ve become more appreciative of race day pick-ups and bag checks as of late…
My Dad ended up getting a cotton tee while I got a women’s tech tee. I actually don’t remember registering for one, so that was a pleasant surprise!
After pinning on our bibs and taking care of things in the restroom, I joined other half marathoners at the start line at ten minutes to 8:30AM. For a challenging 13.1 miles on trail, I was part of quite a large group.
We were sent off with the sound of bag pipes floating behind us, keeping in theme with the race around Loch Chabot.
The first half of the race posed a challenge right off the bat. A little after Mile 2, before Mile 3, we approached our steepest, most difficult climb yet. It didn’t make sense to run up the tower of a hill, so I ended up interrupting my stride and slowing to a steady fast-walk.
The whole course was an ebb and flow of ups and downs. Some people let the downhills get the best of them, and I saw plenty of flailing arms and wobbling bodies’ race past me from time-to-time. I did not get any severe knee pains (knock on wood!) while hitting the downhills, and I focused on channeling the momentum from those downhills to power me through the immediate uphills.
There were times we had to run single file, and towards the second half of the race, it was pretty isolated and we were deep in the heart of the woods…like, the trees were so tall you couldn’t see the sun deep…
We also got to take in the most breathtaking views of the lake, and I was so mesmerized that I ended up falling, and scraping my elbow/palms of my hands.
The injuries were minor, but I was fortunate to be near a half marathon hiker who had band-aids and wipes galore. She and another runner were sweet enough to stop and check to see if I was okay, and this small moment only emphasized the fact that we runners are part of such a gracious, giving, and kind community.
I finished my first trail half with a time that was plenty far from my true half PR, but at least I finished with what counts—sore legs, and battle scars. Yeah, the medals were fun to receive and wear after the race, but feeling the aftermath of an extreme workout is what I think is the true medal of honor.
My Dad’s 5k started at 9:10AM, so even though he took about an hour to complete it (it was a trail 5k after all), he was still at the finish line waiting for me! It was so great to see him and his medal at the end
After grabbing our goody bags, it was obviously snack time.
I passed all the pretzels/cookies/cakes/brownies in favor for the token ice cream sandwiches that associate with Brazen Racing races. I ended up getting strawberry + pumpkin, and fully enjoyed them after finally washing off the dust that had caked my hands and legs since Mile 10…
My Dad and I found a bench to rest at while we ate, and soon after, we got up to check the results.
After spending some more time walking around and giving our muscles time to bounce back from the run, we got back in the car and drove towards Berkeley before stopping by my cousin’s place. I was able to change into some “regular” clothes at a grocery store where we also bought some fruit to share with our host.
Upon arriving at my cousin’s place, I had an extreme feeling of exhaustion overwhelm me, and I couldn’t say no to a sweet nap. After napping for almost an hour, we all had coffee, cheese, and other “afternoon slump” snacks. We heard meowing from below, and I found a mother cat and her two kittens staring up at us on the balcony!
My cousin’s friends came over soon after, and we all agreed to go play table tennis at the last minute, since it seemed like a fun thing to do on a Saturday evening. Even though I played regular tennis in high school, TT is a whole ‘nother ball game, literally. I didn’t sweat, but I was certainly warm enough to not need a sweatshirt when we walked back to my cousin’s apartment.
We had dinner + a movie at home, with my cousin having prepared lentil daal, a rice/quinoa mix, sauteed garlic and pea pods, strawberries, and yogurt.
Our movie that night was Queen, a fairly recent Bollywood hit, and despite there being some cheesy parts, was actually quite good.
We all went to sleep soon after since it was approaching 11PM—and I had a bus to catch the next morning!
The ride home took most of my Sunday, but I was back in my apartment while there was still daylight. After unpacking and showering, I sat down with this delectable pint of fudge brownie ice cream before sleeping away a lingering headache I carried with me from the bus ride.
There was certainly a lot of fun that went down over just 72 hours…it’s amazing how much stuff can be packed into what seems like so little time!
Have you ever run a trail race?
Do you get headaches while traveling?