Race Recap: Urban Cow Half Marathon - Relay

1:33 PM

It will forever be Cowtown to me!
Urban Cow
If I had to guess, I would say this is the big fall race in Sacramento. Even after the 2012 "Udderly Long Race" of a 13.74 mile half marathon, people still come out in droves! I've only ever done this as a relay team member (4 relay persons down to a 2 relay persons). I remember when it was a full marathon and there were 4 legs of the relay, but now it's down to a half course and a 2 person relay. I'm old school...if you will...

Somehow I convinced J to be my teammate this year. The hardest part was picking our team name, we went with "Your Pace or Mine?" I know, I know, cheesy town! But it's cute and we're cheesy, so we'll own it!

Race weekend started Friday Night (10/3/14) with our packet pick up at our local Fleet Feet (Sacramento). If you're read any of my previous recaps you know how the drill works. You walk all the way through the entire store, to the back, and wa-la..packet pick-up heaven. They take this "cow" them in stride and take full advantage of any cow printed material they can. They have different shoots for the pick up, they separate the the alphabet to keep the lines from congestion and they also have a relay shoot. After you swoop your packet, you grab your shirt. They were gender color specific this year, I'm not sure how I feel about this. We are all racing, shouldn't they all be the same? Since we were one of the first 500 (or 1,000...I can't remember) to sign up, we received a free drawstring bag. Yahoo (as mine sits in my donation pile)!

Grey = Men's Shirt // Blue = Women's Shirt

Since 2 nights before the race is essential for carb intake, we headed to my fave quick and delish Italian spot, Pronto (sorry, redundant from yesterday's post). I continue to use this rule of thumb as my way to carb-out without guilt or shame!
Pronto // Free Carbs
Pronto // Roast Beef Dip

Pronto // Baked Pasta & Side of Cesar Salad
I think since I knew it was 'only' a relay, I didn't really focus on carbs and hydration as much as I normally do one day prior to the race. Saturday was pretty busy, but I did try to be cognizant of my water intake. I made sure to drink plenty of water and bring a bottle wherever we went. I didn't really eat an overabundance of carbs, but I did eat a decent (which is normal) amount.
Gear Grid
Race day had me up at 6AM, with a snooze, so really 6:10AM. I even set an additional alarm for 6:30AM. I wasn't going to be the part of the relay team that didn't show up on time! Pre-race breakfast consisted of two slices of toast w/ Coconut peanut butter and a cup of coffee. Per the usu, you gotta get some fuel in your system, which also gets rid of what needs to be gone before you can run light and free (if you get my drift)!

I quickly gathered all my race necessities - pre, during, and post race fuel. I also had some time to roll out really quickly, my calves and legs have been extremely tight. I was still feeling the effects of the sumo stiff leg dead lifts I did on Friday.
Pre - Pro Bar BOLT Chews // During - Hammer Gel // Post - Vega Sport Accelerator in Acai Berry

J and LL arrived around 7:05AM to swoop me up before we headed to the race. Official start time was 7:30AM for the first wave of the half marathon distance and relay. We lucked out with a parking spot, because with minimal parking and tons of runners, you can do the math. We knew we were cutting close, but we made it in enough time for me to hit the porto and take a few pre-race photos.

Can I please take a moment to say that this was my worst porto experience ever! I've gagged in them before. If I had any more food in my stomach I would have puked in there. TMI. Sorry, but not really. The smell that hit my nostrils should never be forced upon anyone. I should have stopped mid pee and left, but I didn't because I knew I didn't have much time. But between gagging and trying to pee, I couldn't stop gagging. I barely managed to pull up my Lulu capri's in time before I shoved the door open, while still gagging and tears running down my face. I may sound overtly dramatic, but I'm telling you...whoever did whatever in there...must not have ran the race. That was NOT okay!
Fake smile after the porto incident!
The gun went off and I was standing near the 9 min/mile pace marker. I wasn't sure what pace to expect my stems to work at, but I was hoping to keep it under 9 min/miles. So, I figured why not start there. 
Since J  was the second leg, he snapped some photos, of which I stole. Apparently, there was a couple who were married the day before the race (Saturday) and showed up to walk the 5K. I only found this out because I saw them finish the race, walking hand in hand! It was sweet.
So, as I started the race it was really congested. Which is to be expected. I also reminded myself to not go out too hard. I even changed my Garmin to only show the time, so I wouldn't keep looking at it like a crack addict. I felt good, but not strong.
My game plan was to run miles 1 through 3 at a healhty paces. I have no idea what I mean by healhty, but I'm guessing one that is not setting off my sports induced asthma, yet not so slow I'm jogging. I also had the idea, that between mile 3 and mile 4 I would ease up a bit. After looking at the elevation chart, I probably should have went fast there, to late now. I didn't want to burn out, so I took that mile to re-gather myself and wanted to push strong for the last 2.55 miles. Although I generally wouldn't take a Hammer gel for this distance, I decided too, just because I haven't been running much and I figured I could use the extra umph.
Urban Cow - Relay Part 1 SPLITS
Mile 1 8:40
Mile 2 8:34
Mile 3 8:28
Mile 4 8:41
Mile 5 8:39
Mile 6 8:44
Mile 7 8:41
This is literally my first time looking at my splits! Not too shabby. I thought, by feeling, I had more of the inclines, but it looks like J had a steady incline from mile 10 on. I did however not appreciate the elevation climb right after mile 6, I knew it was to be expected, but it's always hard when you know you're so close to finishing. 

The water stations were pretty congested. Funny thing is, the first water station you come across is actually for the runners coming back (left hand side of the street). There were a few who went for some water and were told it was for the runners who were on the tail end of the race. The worst congestion that I encountered was the water station right before mile 4. The runners sucked at figuring out how to get water here. Get it together people. The race organizers did awesome with their aid stations, there was one about every two miles. Luckily, since this was an very extremely warm October morning!

Since J and LL rode the relay shuttle to the relay exchange all was up in the air. I've never relied on this mode of transportation. J and LL apparently, literally showed up to the corral area as I was running right past them. J was tying his shoes and I was screaming his name for him to go. Our transition was ANYTHING but smooth, but after he handed LL off to me he was off. I felt bad, because I could tell he didn't have his bearings.
I found this all out after the race, as we re-capped our experience. Note to second leg runners, get in the shuttle line early. The line gets long quickly and could take extra time. Now that I was done, it was time for LL and I to grab my cow bell medal and catch the shuttle back to the finish (start) line. Since I didn't run the 2nd leg this year, I don't have much to say. J said that he enjoyed the run and he felt strong, which was evident with his splits - 7:57 min/mile average. He killed it :)
The shuttle system was run by our local transit system. Everything about the shuttle process on the way back, was seamless. Most likely because everyone was happy they were done racing, myself included. As for the smell in that poor little bus, I can't really say the same thing. It was quick and painless, next thing we knew, we were back at William Land Park.
A quick walk to the finish line and we were ready to cheer for J. Holy shitballs, a 10 year old came in around 1:30. It turns out he might have set a new world record for 10 year olds at the HM distance. He flew all the way from Virginia and was with his God Mother. How do I know all of this you ask? Because once he came flying through, they flagged him down and did an instant interview with him for everyone to hear. I haven't read anything official, but that's still pretty neat! I was also able to see my friend, Haley, crush her PR goal! She looked strong and even had enough energy to wave, although she text me (after) she felt like puking at the moment she saw me.
Shortly after, J came running in. I saw him from at least 20 feet away, so I was able to get some good pics. LL had her cow bell and was cheering for her Daddy and I was cheering like a crazy girlfriend! He looked strong and went by so fast. Our unofficial finish time was 1:50.34, according to J. I grabbed our bag, LL's hand, and we were off to find J at the finish line. As finish lines go, the shoot was congested with the 5K and half marathon finishers. Luckily J spotted us first and we were reeeeeunited ;)
We stood in line to take a relay team pic, LL even got in the shot with us. Then we went to grab some of the post-race goodies, which weren't half bad. They offered a variety of Beach Hut Deli sandwiches, cookies (from Sam's Club I think), string cheese, KIND Bars (yessss), and a fresh strawberry with mini choco chips! We took our goodies and sat on the curb to munch on them and stretch out a bit more.
Team Your Pace or Mine, post race pic!
We both had stuff to do after the race, so our post-race brunch was a quick stop at one of J's favorite places to eat, El Padrino. I'm pretty sure this was my first time having carnitas as my post race treat! Normally my plate has something to do with bacon, and more bacon, but I changed it up this time! I was craving a Pepsi after the race, this happens more often than not after races. Does this happen to you?
El Padrino // Carnitas con Huevos
My only gripe, yes I saved it for the end, is that ChronoTack Live keeps saying that we are 'missing data'. I am so annoyed, because I had my bib on the front of my tank top and ran over all of the mats. I'm not mad at the 2nd half because J, like a serious rook, tucked his bib in a pocket in his shorts. One would think that didn't matter, but apparently it did. I don't know why there isn't a time listed where I hit the halfway/relay mark either? I am so irritated, but glad that J saw our finishing time...but we all know that the gun time and the chip time are always a few seconds (if not more than a few) off. The OCD in me wants to know our exact time...but I guess it just wasn't in our cards...

It will forever be Cowtown...and a great fall race for anyone in the 916!

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  1. Great job on your relay race! I've never done one before and it sounds like fun! What a cute medal too. Yum, your post race meal looks good. I have to explore Sac-town someday! :)

    1. Thanks! I like to add relay's into the rotation, just to switch it up :) Yes, Sacramento has some good food gems to try! xoxo, ganeeban

  2. I LOVE the cowbell finisher medal. That is great. Your splits were very consistent and strong. Great race. Looks like you guys had perfect weather too. I would love to run a relay with my husband someday. What a great experience. I am considering making the trip to Sacramento in December for CIM. We'll see. :) If I do, I know who to go to for advice!

    1. It is definitely helpful when you start cheering for everyone else finishing the race! Yes, I couldn't have asked for nicer weather that day...but J got the warmer end of the race. I bet you will, after he's all healed up! Oh, hope to see you at CIM. I'll be doing the relay this year! Yes, I'd love to spew my Sacramento knowledge to you...I have way too much of it! xoxo, ganeeban


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