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I brought my Bia Sport watch to the Mermaid East Bay run, and it was fabulous.

This was my first race since January's Hot Chocolate 5k - I've spent most of the last few months being injured or sick (or both), and even though I registered for a few races in the interim, I ended up skipping them because there was no way I was ready (or even healthy enough) to run those distances.

In fact, I had originally registered for the half for this, but I ended up deciding to drop to the 5k. It was the smart thing to do, considering how I'm only just starting to hit about 3 or 4 miles per run these last couple of weeks.

I was pretty excited, because I had a bunch of friends running with me today (not WITH me, but at the same race) - my best friend Becca, my coworker, my derby friends, etc. Everything's more fun with friends!

So, since the 5k started at 9am, I had planned to get there by 7:30, but the line of cars into the parking lot was so atrociously long that I made it just after 8. It was fine for me, but I was trying to meet up with a couple of friends running the longer the distances, so... not so good.

It was a typical Mermaid event - high energy, female-friendly, and lots of newer runners who don't know that that faster people should stay on the left and slower people should stay on the right. Sigh. Also, the 9am start meant that it was warmer than I was used to (last year I did the half marathon, which started at 8), so the sun felt pretty unforgiving, even though I doubt it was much more than 70 degrees the entire time.

Wrist unit above; GPS Go Stick below
Today was an auspicious day because, first of all, I was finally taking my Bia Sport watch for a spin. (Click the link to read more about why it's so awesome.) I was one of the first wave of people to get one because I had backed it on Kickstarter, but I confess I haven't really used it yet, because 1) I've barely been running (as mentioned above), and 2) they haven't updated it to include the interval running function yet, and you know I am ALL about interval running. (I know, I know, I could run intervals with a normal run timer, but checking back down at your watch all the time gets annoying after a while. It's like watching a treadmill clock. I appreciate timed beeping.)

So this was my first time really using it, and I have to say, it did NOT disappoint. The Go Stick found its signal about five times faster than my Garmin ever did, and it's pretty intuitive to use - there is one button to turn on/turn off and start/stop, and all the other commands are done via the touch screen. You shake the Go Stick to wake it up, clip it somewhere on your person (I didn't have my hydration belt with me, so I secured it on the strap of my tank top/running bra), press the button to turn it on. After it finds the signal (in a few seconds!), you choose your sport (Run/Cycle/Swim), and pick "Just Run." (Eventually they will roll out the "Interval Run" and "Indoor" functions. Soon, I hope. *crossing fingers*) You press the button to start your watch, press it when you're finished, and you can choose to save the data or delete it, which I really liked because my Garmin stored EVERYTHING and only deleted it when you took the time to go into your history and clear it.

My favorite thing about it, and I couldn't get a picture of this because I had JUST crossed the finish line, was that after I save my run info, the summary screen shows your time, distance, and pace, as well as the message "DROP AND PLANK." I definitely did not drop and plank, but I got a good chuckle out of that one. :)

So, the run was difficult. I've been having really GOOD runs this week on the treadmill, but of course, it's always a different story when you have to run outside. Especially on a dirt/gravel trail with no shade whatsoever. It wasn't as hot as it was last year for my half, but again, we started today at 9am, which is later than I'm used to (and threw off my eating routine a bit) and warmer. So I was definitely struggling with the sunshine. Also, I was struggling maintaining my pace - this is not a humblebrag when I say that I kept going too fast. I was hoping to stick to a 13:30 pace and take only a few walk breaks, but I kept hitting 11:00-12:00 paces, which meant that I would wear myself out and end up stopping more often. I started chanting mantras to myself to try and keep myself going slow, but it was a struggle for me to pace myself, even for such a short distance.

That said, I still made my goal! I wanted to go under 44:00 (hopefully beating my Hot Chocolate Run time of 43:43), and not only did I do that, I actually went under 43:00! My official chip time was 42:52, which is pretty exciting for me, and I felt pretty good about the whole thing. I finally feel like I'm getting back on track to being my old self, as far as running is concerned.

Next up: I will be starting half marathon training in a week. (I know, I have so little base mileage, but it's a very beginner-friendly training plan. It's gentle.) My other big running decision was to drop to the half for Santa Rosa (which made me sad), but to register for the CIM in December (on my birthday!), so I'll be actually training for this half, aiming for a PR, and then chasing marathon #3, which was supposed to happen last year but didn't because of my injury.

My next race will be the See Jane Run half marathon in June, which is exciting because I'm a SJR ambassador! And I haven't done this half in a really long time, so it will pretty much be new to me.

If you would like to join me for See Jane Run, you can get a 10% discount on your race registration with the code SJRAMB239. (Or, I mean, you don't have to join ME specifically... you could run with your own posse.) You can also use that same code for 10% off purchases on the See Jane Run website.


Eternal Water was one of the race sponsors. I couldn't resist taking an #eternalselfie.

The finishers' necklace! On the other side of the shoe, it says "pace"

Me and Becca - running besties :)