November 23, 2010

2010 Calabasas Classic BFF Fun Run

Meet D and Bridget (on the right) Our BFFs for almost 7 years. None of the people you see in this picture were runners when we met. D and John were roommates in Encino back in 2002, living the So Cal bachelor life. Then I moved in with the boys (D referred to our living situation as "Three's Company" in his Best Man speech at our wedding). D met Bridget several months later at work and the 4 of us spent quite a bit of time together over the next couple of years.  In 2005, Bridget was accepted to law school in Minnesota (YAY!), and it was with great sadness that we watched our friends move 2,000 miles away (Booooooooooo) just before their wedding day (YAY!) in July of that same year.

We started a tradition of seeing each other at least 2 twice a year, and for the past 5 years, we haven't missed a visit yet! Since John, D and Bridget all have their birthdays within 10 days of each other (Nov 21 - Dec 1), we always get together in Nov to celebrate.

This is how we celebrated last year (after an 8 mile run around the Mississippi earlier in the day). The other couple is B's lil sis (another new runner this year!) and soon to be brother-in-law. Good times at the News Room in Minneapolis!

Never in a million years would I have guessed that the 4 of us would become runners together. I certainly can't speak for them, but I blame myself for getting them into this. John started running about a year after I started back up (early 2008 for him). I think D may have started close to that same time as well. Bridget was a bit more resistant. In fact, I recall a statement she made one trip when she and I went out for a walk together back in 2008 I think it was.  "I hate running. I don't know how you guys do it. I'll never run."  Ah-hem. It only took her about 6-8 months to catch the same running bug the rest of caught. As of today, we have all run half-marathons, and John, D and I have run in at least one marathon. I'm working on B for the 2012 LA Marathon. ;-)

Normally, John and I fly out to St Paul in Nov and D&B spend Spring Break with us. This year, however, we invited them to come out for the Calabasas Classic. This is a local race, relatively small (used to be a lot smaller) with a record-breaking 2,500 participants this year. The proceeds benefit The Talbert Foundation which provides financial support to local families dealing with catastrophic illnesses. The 10K was renamed this year in memory of a young boy who lost his battle earlier this year. This event is also a Green Event, collecting old cell phones, PDAs and shoes. There are also many individual families to choose from in terms of fundraising efforts. A great course for a great cause in a great community. We see a celebrity or 2 every now and then as well.

I participated in this event in 2007 (my "return to running" year), 2008, skipped 2009 because the hubby and I were training for the D-World Marathon and it coincided with a long run weekend, and this year, 2010.  I don't know how many other races offer this but at the Calabasas Classic, you can run both the 5K and the 10K races. The 5K starts at 8 and the 10K starts at 9. How awesome is that? And of course we  all ran both! Why?  Because we can!

The course itself is very hilly. I live in this city. It is a bear to find flat ground in stretches longer than a mile it seems. You're either going up or you're going down. That's pretty much it. Great for hill training, terrible for my IT bands. Thank goodness for my treadmill and local flat beach paths! Here is the elevation situation for this race course.

Link to Garmin data and course map
We were in a bit of a heat wave the weekend of the race (race day was Nov 14) with temps hovering in the low 80's. The sun was out early and even at the start of the 5K, I think it was at least 70F. Since I was still in the early stages of recovering from the Santa Barbara Marathon I ran the previous weekend, my only intention for this race was to relax and enjoy myself on a very familiar course with 3 of the people I love most in this world. Bridget and I had decided to run together and let the boys do whatever they wanted. We all use the Galloway run/walk/run method and ran the 5K close enough together that we were able to line up side-by-side in the final stretch and cross the finish line at the exact same time, all fists in the air!  I'd love to show you the picture, but of course, another runner snuck in front of us. None of the photographers at the end caught a clear pic of us, but I have the visual in my head, and that's enough for me.

It was SO nice not to be totally pre-occupied with my Garmin, wondering if I was running too hard or too fast, pressuring myself to perform better and better. I didn't care. I just wanted to run with my husband and my friends. Another great experience under our belts together and 2 medals each!

Next up for this foursome is Grandma's Marathon in June 2011. B will be kicking the Half Marathon course's butt while the boys and I are tearing up the Marathon course. My goal? Beat the boys!!!!  ;-)


Java Joggers said...

I love your running backstory! I also find it interesting to read about runners that race using the Galloway method. Do you train that way, too, or just use it in races? What ratio run/walk do you use? My sister has been training with a Galloway training group for a couple of years, and loves it.

Vera said...

Thank you!! I'm a Galloway Training Program Director for Ventura County here in So Cal. I've been using this method for years and have trained many many people with it. My run/walk ratio depends on what pace I want to run at and the distance. For the most part, I run 4:30/0:30 if I'm running less than 15 miles. For marathons, I stick with 4:1. I think it's the safest and most enjoyable way to train and race!

Johann said...

That is a wonderful story! Being friends all the time and now running together is so great!