Whew, what a weekend! I took on the Shamrock’n Half marathon this morning and this week leading up to it has kind of been an emotional roller coaster. I was almost not gonna sign up for this half after my experience running it in 2011 being on the morning of spring forward, odd weather, and unhappy insides. But my sister signed up for it, so my other sister and I did to support her team and I was looking forward to making it a sister event. However, both of my sisters bailed on the race for various reasons last week and I was a little irked to be running it by myself and almost tempted to bail too. I had to give myself a little pep talk to go through with it reminding myself that I’ve trained too hard up to this point to walk away. Plus I paid $70, so I wanted to get my money’s worth!
Yesterday I headed into Sacramento to pick up my race packet and parked next to the state capitol where an epic rally against fracking in California was taking place.
There were thousands of protestors with creative signs and literature which was pretty awesome to see so many people taking a huge stand for what they believe in. After seeing the Gasland and Gasland 2 documentaries, I’m floored that it’s even legal in the first place! If you haven’t seen those documentaries, I recommend it. They’re hard to watch because they’re infuriating due to the level of greed, corruptness, and environmental damage. But I’m pretty passionate about alternative fuel options and reducing fuel usage being an overall good thing for everyone on this planet.
On a lighter note, I headed to The Plum Cafe for a hearty vegan lunch before grabbing my packet and the weather was perfect to sit on their eclectic patio and enjoy my avocado-loaded tempeh Ruben sandwich.
Getting up at 5am this morning in the dark for the race was slightly brutal, but the full moon and sunrise were gorgeous. The race started from Raley Field and I have to give props to the race planners for actually having enough restrooms, there were tons of outhouses lined up outside the stadium as well as all the huge restrooms in the stadium. They even turned one of the stadium mens restrooms into a ladies restroom for this event – genius! My mom sweetly accompanied me to the race and enjoyed Old Town Sac and a local coffee shop while I ran my butt off.
The race course was great for this half marathon taking a nice little tour of downtown and midtown Sacramento before hitting the riverside bike trails, then old town Sacramento and along the train tracks and river. The scenery changes helped keep the run interesting and make the miles fly by. It started by entering Sacramento on the golden bridge with a great view of the capitol and ended by going back over the bridge and into Raley Field for the finish line.
Hubby was sweetly waiting at the finish line to snap some action shots of me crossing.
And I PR’d this half too completing another one in under two hours and besting my last half marathon time by 1 minute and 14 seconds at 1:57:33 – I’ll take it! Especially considering that this one was more hilly with a lot of up and downs on the bike trails. But I was even more proud of myself for a strong finish, when I turned the corner into Raley Field and saw the finish line, I got an invigorating boast of energy and practically sprinted around the field to it not hurting at all and looking pretty good while rocking a No Meat Athlete shirt vs. struggling to the finish line during my last half marathon.
And I have another race bib and finisher medal to add to my collection.
I’m so glad I did not bail on this race, what a great experience!
I didn’t even mind the long walk back to hubby’s car after the race, it was nice seeing more racers and spectators cheering them on.
After we got home and I showered, we headed back out for a celebratory lunch at Baagan, of course! I got the trio boat this time with sweet potato pancakes, coconut brown rice, and a salad with orange ginger dressing. Followed by chocolate banana soft serve with raw vegan chocolate chunks. :-)
Last night I created a great pre-race quinoa recipe for dinner since quinoa seems to be my lucky race food. That recipe is coming soon, but I think a celebratory glass of wine is in order for now!