One of my biggest anxieties pre-race is bathroom related. I have to take care of business before I leave the house, which is why I soak chia seeds in water overnight.

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I also have a fear of forgetting something my life depends on, so I set out all my gear the night before.

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I have forgotten my Tri Slide before every race, which I spray on hot spots on my feet to help prevent blisters, and I was NOT going to subject myself to the pain during the RAD run.

So, my race-morning ritual is usually the same. I’ll wake up, drink this:

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Yes, those are the same chia seeds, only they have retained a ton of the water. This helps with hydration. Then, I’ll hook myself up with a double-tall almond milk latte:

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Good thing I have the mug my kid gave me!

Between the chia and the espresso, things start to move really fast, if you know what I mean.

After I’ve finished reading the paper while sucking down the chia and the latte, I get dressed and roll out. My breakfast is a Honey Stinger honey waffle with a bottle of water. Easy on the stomach, which is the most important thing.

THE RAD 10-Miler

My biggest issue with this race is that for such a short distance, there’s a lot of parties involved in getting people to where they want to be. It’s a point-to-point race from an elementary school in Agoura Hills to Paramount Ranch, also in Agoura, but the race is the major event of a weekend-long Reyes Adobe Days festival at the Reyes Adobe Historical Site. There’s no parking at the elementary school, so you have to find a bus or shlep up the hill. I don’t mind either, but, as I said before, it’s a lot for such a short race.

Then there’s getting back. You have to either pray that you can snag a good seat partner on the yellow bus (not always easy after a sweatfest), or you can have someone pick you up at the ranch, which is also a challenge because of road closures.

Aside from the parking, though, this is an event that I will do every year since it’s local and well-run. And the scenery doesn’t get much better than running through Cornell Road and around Malibou Lake. So peaceful.

The 10-miler began almost a half-hour late as a result of the porta-potties not being delivered. This made things interesting, and I felt for the announcer who did a decent job of trying to keep people pumped. From what I hear, he’s a stellar runner.

On the upside? I ran into one of my girlfriend’s girlfriends while taking care of my business behind a tree in the hills. Awkward.

When the race began, I had a hard time getting my head in it because mentally I was ready to go right away. But stuff happens, and I recovered. I also wasn’t prepared for the confidence exuded by the group of runners who’d had elite training for this race specifically.

They were good, though, and when you train that hard, you better be good.

I like starting at the front if there are no corrals, so I have to actually work to pass people. Things evened out within the first mile, which was nice, but around mile 3, a girl passed me, and I kinda just gave up. Embarrassingly, I just thought, She looks younger than me. She’s probably not in my age group.

Lame. But, the hills caught up with her, and I was able to pass her going up a climb in mile 8, which I really did work for.

Then, I passed an older man, and he encouraged me as I made my way past him on another climb (there was no shortage of climbs), which pumped me up. My last mile averaged 7:18. It still wasn’t fast enough for baldy to pass me in the last 20-yards.

The man found me at the end, congratulated me on a run well-done, and said he’d studied the maps and driven the course, so he knew exactly when to kick it into gear at the end. Smart man.

In the end, I finished in 1:17:11. I’m pretty satisfied with it. It was fast enough to earn third in my age group, and this was my prize:

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Kind of a nice change!

Cheers to the best cousin of all!

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The end!

Yes, being the fashion obsessed, I changed my look from my laid-out plan.

Thankfully, my husband was able to go into work later in the morning than normal, so he and the kids picked my cousin and I up at the ranch. He’s a good man. Great man. Have I mentioned that before?

Who do you depend on to get stuff done?

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