Coyote Hills Race Recap

I am supposed to be working on my taxes right now.

Do you want to know what distracted me? Well, the half marathon that I ran last weekend, the Coyote Hills Half Marathon, uses volunteers for photographers and they put all the photos online and you can go and download or print them for free! They put it on a Picasa Web Album and it is free for anyone to use! HOWEVER, they are not tagged by number or anything and there are about a million photos, so I had to go through them to find the ones of me. Moral of the story: WEAR a BRIGHT COLOR! Luckily I had a red shirt on! It was still hard to find myself.

Now for the recap. First, a quick reminder of what my goals were for this race: 1.) Finish 2.) Get less than a 2:20 3.) Don't look at the Garmin 4.) Have fun.

This was a hilly course, mainly on a paved bike trail which was about as wide as 3 people. A little less than half of it was on a gravel trail about the same width and about a quarter of a mile of it was a single, dirt track. It was along the east side of the San Francisco bay and was two loops with a short out and back on each loop.

I am not having as much trouble as the guy in front of me. Notice the bay in the background.
The water stations were plentiful. I think there were 3 of them on the loop, which meant that there really were 6 total, since we went around twice. There were plenty of port-a-potties at the start, but none on the course. Luckily I didn't need one along the way! The parking for the race was first come first serve, and was either paid ($5) if you got there early enough, or non paid in an overflow lot with a shuttle if you didn't. I actually parked about a mile from the start (which I did not realize) and had to walk in, so I got an extra mile or 1.5 miles walk in pre-race (which I probably didn't NEED). My bad though.

So, how did it go?

1. I finished. Here is the photo that it took me 4 hours to find to prove it.

2. I DID look at my Garmin. A LOT! Since I started out a little faster than I had planned (don't I always) I kept looking at my Garmin because once I set a pace, I try to stick with it. I really did not think I would be able to keep up the pace for long, since the course was hilly. My first three miles were 8:23, 7:51 & 7:58. I figured that when I hit the really hard hills, I would slow WAY down.

3. I DID have fun! Besides the one guy who kept slowing me down, everyone was observing the rules of the trail and surprisingly enough, having only room for three abreast, especially on the out and back, was not that much of a problem! Also, the park that we were running in was still open to everyday folks, so we were running around a lot of Sunday Stollers and Bike Riders, but it was fine! The weather was perfect. It started off around 40 and went up to maybe 50-55 by the time I was done. Plus there were Its-Its at the end. I say that's a win in my book. Running + Ice Cream = Happy.

I followed these guys pretty much the entire second loop. Nice buns!
4. Now...did I make my time "goal"? Well, funny you asked. I did not expect to PR at this race. It was on hills and gravel and there would be people to pass the whole time. I thought I would be lucky to break 2 hours. I surprised myself.

I PRed!

My final time was 1:47:03, for an average pace of 8:10 and one whole minute (total, NOT per mile!) faster than my last half marathon! Those hill training workouts must be working! I felt good the entire time. I noticed that although a lot of people are faster than me, I can usually pass them on the hills. I would love to try another hill race sometime soon!

All in all, I would say it was a great race! As far as the Brazen Racing goes, I liked them so much that I signed up for another one in February: The Bay Breeze Half Marathon! This one promises to be "fast and flat" so I am looking forward to another good race! Anybody going to join me?

When you set goals/rules for yourself, do you always follow them? When you race, do you follow the buns in front of you? What's the best post-race food you have eaten?


  1. Nice race! I ran a race with similar photographs, but they were arranged by time: "halfway point at 8 am" or "finish line at 10 am" so if you kind of knew your splits you could find yourself.
    You're getting faster and faster...what's next?

  2. Holy cow girl! You blew your time goal out of the water!! Great job!!! Love the guys in your pics! One looks like he's dieing and the other looks really fun! Way to go!!!

  3. Wow that's a great time! Congrats! I usually enter a race with a rough plan, but since I'm not a super serious runner my main goals are to finish and have fun. I do like to finish strong though, and love the feeling of passing people during the latter half of the race.

  4. Nice PR! One minute on a hilly course is hard to come by. Very cool. You really pulled out some consistency over that varied terrain. Well done.

  5. That is awesome! It almost - ALMOST - makes me want to run a half marathon. Except I hate running. But I can't not run or I feel like a lump. I rarely run any farther than 6 miles, though. Usually only 3 - 4. That's plenty for me.

    You are awesome, though.

    I find run better if I don't think about rules and pace and just sing "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" over and over again in my head.

  6. Awesome race! Way to PR on a challenging course!

  7. Wow - awesome times girl! Nice work. You totally rocked it!
    xoxo from Trinidad

  8. woot! Nice PR - great job!

    How cool that they had free pictures!

  9. Wow, good time! I'm impressed. That's a great way to get pics for a race. Pics are just too expensive these days.

  10. What an awesome time! Yay for hill work... I would be dying on a course with hills, it is too flat around here. Sounds like a great experience, and gorgeous views. I love that they let you have access to free photos!

  11. Great time...Love the idea of free photo's they are great,well done :)

  12. Wow, I am amazed by you! A PR on a trail race? Sheesh. You are a machine!!!

  13. Wow! Congrats on the PR on such a hard course! You are speedy!

  14. WOOHOO!!!! Congratulations on a PR especially on that course. You are quite fast!

  15. Of course, I've spent waaay too much time here catching up ... but - time well wasted ! Nice work on the race and beating your goal - congrats. Looks like you're already ahead of last year's pace.

    As for setting/keeping rules for myself ? There have been some that I've been able to keep quite well, there have been others that fell in moments of not living consciously, and then others that had to give way when flexibility required it. As for running - I've always found it to be too difficult mentally - I got my exercise refereeing hockey (I think my record was 7 games in 1 day). Best post-exercise food - without a doubt, a barley sandwich ;-)

  16. Congrats on the PR! A pace I envy.

    I never have a goal to not look at my Garmin. I would fail epically. I can't help it :)

  17. Great job!! Looks like an awesome race!!

  18. Congratulations on the PR!

    That sounds like a good race, and such a beautiful location!


Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!