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A couple weekends ago, I made a last-minute decision to run the Reyes Adobe Days 10-miler (Rad Runs). I’ve run this race every year, and every year, it’s had a different course. If you remember from last year’s recap, race directors were forced to change the course days before the event due to the wildfires nearby. It has always been one of my favorite local races because of its hilly goodness, but since the race directors changed this year, I was hesitant to register because, well, my time and money are valuable.

money running beerSource.

Race bibs, amIright? But if the race is a dried out, old biscuit, then it makes me frown.

Mostly because I’ll have to spend more money to drown my sorrows in more beer instead of toasting with a celebratory pint.

Kidding.

Kinda.

My other motivating factor was that running a 10-miler would give me a good idea of where I am fitness-wise. My training hasn’t been happening, and I have three races left this year to get through before I will reevaluate my goals and training. I really just want to get through them injury-free.

So, for the whopping price of $30 (4 non-happy hour pints), I figured I had nothing to lose.

New this year, packet pickup was at Future Track in Agoura Hills (<–LOVE that store and its people!) the day before or at the start line the morning of.

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I have to say that the race organizers were exceptionally helpful and nice. They kept thanking people for running the race. As it turns out, quite a few people are hesitant to run  races under new directors, so for their first year running RAD, the turnout was low. (<-I kinda like smaller races because they’re more mellow and have more of a hometown feel to them, but I definitely understand the value of the dollar and a well-executed race.).

Mini Me took a page out of her Auntie’s book and spent our time at FT gazing at herself in the shoe mirror.

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Girlfriend has been OBSESSED with mirrors lately! Is this a 6-year old thing?

Elsa Blondie, on the other hand, was attached to my side. We picked up our goodies, checked out the shirt, and took a quick pic to document that time I went to pick up my race packet and ran into a princess.

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As part of my pre-race ritual, I set out Flat HCR and painted my nails right before I went to dream sweet dreams for the night.

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The next morning, I set my alarm for 5 AM for the 7’oclock start. I woke up excited to get my race on and took care of the morning essentials.

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The start line was about 15 minutes away, so I left my house around 6:15 to make it there in time to pee onelasttime (is there such a thing with runners?) and do some quick warmup drills.

Arriving at the start line, I found no issue with parking across the street in a business center lot. Can we take a moment to appreciate the ideal racing temps?

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No joke, I have run this race every year, and every year, the weather has been different. I guess that’s October in SoCal!

I made the quick walk across Agoura Road and warmed up a little bit by jogging easy around the parking lot and doing some dynamic stretches before taking care of my requisite final pit stop.

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It may not look like it, but these portas were just enough for the race size. No lines=winning my Saturday.

I also walked around the expo a bit.

After that, I put my phone back in my car.

This race was so stinking mellow and fun. At the start line on Agoura Rd., we gathered up, Annemarie, the new race director, thanked all of the runners for being there in a rebuilding year, and sent us on our way!

Because I had no idea what my pace should be since letting myself go over summer and into the start of Fall, I settled into an even 8:00 mile pace. The course was gorgeous, running down Cornell Road (the shortcut from Kanan Rd. to Mullholand I used to take when I went to Pepperdine) and around Malibou Lake, and looping back again. The temps invariably drop in the canyon, and because my muscles weren’t A.) used to <gasp> cold air AT ALL (temps were in the 90s the previous couple weeks) and B.) used to running up and down hills, it took a grand 8 (of 10) miles to feel like the wheels were finally turning.

That’s okay, though, because I used the time to work on my mental game (I cannot stop. I cannot stop. This is for fun. Smile. God gave me legs for a reason.) and work to avoid getting beat by a dog.

Yes, a dog.

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Not just any dog, friends. Meet Paul (the dude) and Tucker (the dog). They would catch up with me just for Tucker to stop to smell the roses a gazillion times until we met one last time on the home stretch along Agoura Road. Paul was so nice and gave me final-kick tips and motivation even though I was cursing about how I couldn’t make it the last .5 miles.

“You can do anything for less than four minutes.”

In the end, I’m pretty sure he let me win and backed off as I kicked it into out-of-shape high gear to cross the line in 1:19:33. Tucker the Dog finished in 1:19:34.

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Not a record, but certainly nothing to be ashamed of considering the un-flatness of the course and my current fitness level.

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After I finished, I asked someone to take my picture and then walked around the expo for a little bit.

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Then, I ran back a little over two miles to take photos of the gorgeous course. I didn’t make it back to Malibou Lake, but the miles I ran were just as beautiful in the hot sun as they were in the sunrise.

From the first and last miles of the course:

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The Santa Monica Mountains are even more stunning as the sun rises (when I was running the race)!

The cyclists were stoked for the race. Because Cornell and Mulholland were closed in one direction, they were able to ride free and clear of cars!

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The course was very hilly, but the hills were just long enough to make me want to slow down before dropping back down again. Rolling hills are actually fun to race on!

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At the end, I thanked Annemarie for executing such a fun race! The 10-miler is one of my favorite distances, and this particular course did such a great job of reminding me how lucky I am to live in the Conejo Valley.

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I’ll definitely be be back next year!

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Who’s with me? RAD Run 10-miler 2015, anybody?

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