Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Beer Footed at the Carlsbad 10k

Well  I guess Racing season has begun.  Ideally my goal is to be competitive at any distance at any time. Sures some races are more important to me (i.e Hermosa 24) but why limit myself with goals. You never know whats gonna happen tomorrow and I am ready to embrace uncertainty.

Last week my body felt good and my confidence was high coming off Ragnar and the Bare Burro race.  The sun shined all week my garden was starting grow and optimism began to take over.

Life was good and getting better.

The kind People at the Stone Brewing Company had promised to fill my car up with beer (should I bring a snorkel?) if I drove down to Brewery. (how could I say no?)  I love going down to brewery and bistro (I recommend everyone do it!) but the drive is about 90 miles  to Escondido from my home in the South Bay. (ouch) In the past I have made such ventures into mini disc golf road trips. 

Well on this particular week I was itching to run another race. After a quick google search I found a 10k in Carlsbad about 15 miles from the Stone brewery (perfecto).  Bib pick up was on Friday so I figured I would hit up Stone for lunch grab a room at motel 6 in Carlsbad for $50 and run the race in the morning.

Wait a second. I'm a responsible dude how can I get drunk at the brewery and then drive?


(I called up my sister)
"Hey sis, do you wanna run in a 10k down in Carlsbad?"

(her response)
"uum Okay."

(my thoughs)
Sucker! :)

Well there we go trip planned.  
Wait a second I need to play disc golf

Lucky for me a new course just opened up at the Goat Hill Ball golf course in Oceanside

Leave around 8 a.m. play some golf , go have lunch and drink some good craft beer.
(tough life huh)

$4 to play around $10 with a cart = bargain

We arrived at the course around 10a.m. the weather was nice and the wind was starting to pick up.  My game wasn't very sharp but I was having a fun time. I was the only person playing golf barefoot.
(what a surprise)

I even had a chauffeur

My sister had never drove a golf cart. She was giddy the whole time and didn't even crash twice.

To the Brewery

Kind of like Disneyland for Adults except Mickey is a kick ass Gargoyle.  The food is awesome and instead of paying $6 bucks for diet Coke you have  the choice of around 100 different beers! You don't have to pay $60 wait in line for an hour to sit inside Dumbo. They have complimentary  tours of the brewery and you get to sample the finest ale known to man for FREE afterwards.

We arrived at the brewery at about 12:30.  I really wanted my sister to take the tour and she seemed pretty excited.  (I also wanted the beer) To our dismay the 2p.m. brewery tour was filled and we would have to wait till 4 p.m. oh well.

Let's go have lunch

The Stone Bistro is a special place
check out this letter from the Ceo of Stone explaining their 
on Monday's their menu is entirely meat free lowering their carbon imprint on the world and helping teach people that every meal does not have to be a carnivorous one.

My sister does not drink like i do.  She drinks about 1 beer month and likes it fizzy and yellow variety.  I forgot what we ordered for her it was a little stronger than she was used  to but she downed it before I finished my Oaked Arrogant Bastard

Instead of meal we shared a bunch of appitzers at the Bistro
Brussell sprouts, Artichoke Hummus, fried garlic mashed potatoes and some pretzels.
We grubbed down pretty good  and the Beer hit the spot.

While we eating we were met by Community Relations Manager Chris Cochran.  He's a totally cool dude, a really positive guy with a can do attitude.  He told me their was beer waiting for me when I leave and he even got us into the 2 p.m. tour.

Thanks Chris your the best.

We had  a few minutes  to kill so we took a walk through the garden,

I totally should have rented a U-haul.

The tour takes about 20 minutes and is pretty interesting even for somebody who has taken it a few times before (like myself).  Each time I learn something new.  What I learned today was that "If a beer  gains over 1% alcohol from a cask is taxed up the wazoo by the state of California." Most beer is not put into casks but Stone owns a bunch of Bourbon barrels that they have be known to use from time to time on a small level..

The tour was fun and as usual we were each given 4 Stone Ales to sample afterwards.  Me being the good brother that I am. (always looking out for my sister.)   I sacrificed my sobriety and drank her beer so that she would not have to drink and drive
(I'm a giver)
I was feeling pretty good.  If only I had something to lean on?

Ah, life is good

Carlsbad 10,000
also called the
Earth Day 10k

Time to go check in for the Race.  

We picked up our bid numbers and timing chips and everything seemed pretty well organized.  The race only cost $20 and instead of giving out shirts they gave out little plant your own tree kits from the $1 store. 
(not a bad idea )

We checked into our beautiful 1 star hotel room got a wink and half of rest (either crackheads or vampires had the room above us) and were ready to go bright and early the next morning.

The dudes at Stone were kind enough to kick me down a couple of green shirts to be more festive for Earth Day

I wasn't quite sure how much competition there would be.  I know the Carlsbad area has some really good runners but how many of them would show up for this tiny 10k?  Seeing that my number was in the 500's there was bound to be at least a few.  

Sure enough one of the first guys I saw was the winner of the San Dieguito 5k (the dude behind me to the left in this photo) .  He kicked my butt at San Dieguito and was just coming off a third place finish at the La Jolla 1/2 marathon the week before. 

The set up for the race was pretty shabby at best.  The people in charge had only expected about 40 people (not 10 times that amount or so they claimed).  No roads would be closed and we would be running in the bike lane  on a there and back 3.1 mile  stretch of highway along the coast.  I was a bit skeptical about this but it ended up being fine for me.  They had 2 porta potties and the line to use them was about 70 people strong 10 minutes before the race.  There was even a line to pee in the bushes. ( mostly women).  The people in charge did a very poor job, which would be acceptable if they were raising money for charity.  It may have been Labeled an Earth day 10k but this race but nowhere did I see or hear any sign that any of the money went to a good cause other than someone's wallet.

Hopefully I'm wrong! If so please tell me.
 If i'm right I think it's pretty scummy of the people in charge to use Earth day in the title for their own profit.
I would not recommended this race to anyone next year for that reason.

On to the race itself

I have no f'n clue what type of runner I am I thought if I ran well I'd be somewhere in the 34 minute range (well off my pr but respectable).
Id be running in my Luna sandals (as usual) Cep sleeves, and use my Garmin 310XT (best gps watch on the market)

Right out the gates the guy I expected to win flew out in front of me with another dude.  I ran in third for the first mile before another two track guys passed me plus one other dude and I was in 6th (doh)  I was running hard (listening to my body) the win at all cost mentality definitely was not flowing through my blood.   I'm not sure if injuries have made me soft, slow or smart but whatever they have done to me I need a different strategy for success. 
(at least in these shorter races)

The Course was pretty flat with views of the almost the entire time.  It took me over 11 minutes to run my first 2 miles and that really cost me.  While I tried to find a groove I was a minute slower than I should have been. Running at the speed would be okay for a marathon but not for a competitive 10k without hills.  I continued at a very similar pace  a finished the race in 6th place with an official time of  35:09.

The winner by the way ran an amazing 30:53 My hat goes off to him.

I can't say i was ecstatic about my speed but it is what is.  I need to run the like the rabbit being chased and go back to my old strategy.  
Jump out in front at the start going as fast as I can and if someone catches me, RUN FASTER!

Although it wasn't my day there was still hope for my sister.

My sister was coming off a nasty achilles injury (which had sidelined her from the L.A. Marathon).  She had been feeling pretty good of late but I was still a bit concerned that something might flare up.  I had seen no water stations on the course and I knew my sister wasn't carrying a bottle (something she usually does).

After I crossed the finish line I ran straight the car to grab my camera and a bottle water for my sister.  I sprinted back out onto the course about 1.5 miles before catching up with her. (no time to hydrate myself)

I was stoked to see a smile on her face.  She was running strong and didn't want any of my water. (Fine then)
Quickly I began to get her nerves (that's what little brothers are for I thought).  I tried pushing on her back to make her run faster.  (she didn't like that)  So I tried pulling on her shirt (she liked that even less)

If I'm gonna carry this bottle of water I might as well use it.  Maybe if I pour some on her she would run faster.
( I am such a good brother)
Anyone need a pacer for their next 100 mile run these are the kind of services I can provide.

I guess the threat did the trick.  She was off and flying

See ya at the finishline

Even though she ran out in front there was still a mile to go.  I kicked it into gear and got to the finish line in what I thought would be a few minutes before  her.  When I looked at the clock it read around 56 minutes. She might break 1 hour! (prior P.R. 1:03)   It was gonna be close.

But when I turned around she was right on ass (shows what I know)
Good Job Sis!

She finished so fast she had time to catch her breath and join her Dumb ass brother for a photo before the official clock hit 1 hour.

People dug the Stone shirts I even saw one guy wearing the same one as me  and my sis said she got a few Hoot's from dudes yelling "Stone" 

  I was really proud of my sister, she has always been there to support me and being there to see her achieve her best was a pretty awesome way to finish the trip.

I'm not sure what's up next

It's gonna be fun few weeks.


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