Sunday, August 17, 2008

Amerca's Finest City [HOT] Half Marathon

There were definitely GOOD and BAD parts of today's race:

  • Good: I felt ready for the race and my calf felt much better.
  • Bad: It was 72 degrees at 4:40 when I got in my car to meet my friend, Laura.
  • Good: The humidity was not as high as it has been (maybe 60 or 70%??).
  • Bad: The traffic getting into Balboa Park was HORRENDOUS. Laura and I left her house just after 5 a.m. The trip to Balboa Park is usually around 20-25 minutes or so. It took us over twenty minutes to go one mile on the 163 freeway. Poor Laura felt really guilty for not going a back way. Getting down to the park is second nature for both of us and neither of us really gave it much thought. Luckily, Laura's husband is a Navy surgeon and we were able to park at the Naval hospital and run to the buses to take us to the start. We made it on the last group of buses!!!!
  • Good: After nearly missing the start of the race, I was no longer nervous! (once I was seated comfortably on the bus) :-)
  • Bad: Kenny used the Garmin last and it was set for cycling (knowing my mph doesn't help me with my plan.) I managed to figure out how to change it back to running without stopping. Unfortunately, it appears that stops the Garmin, so I lost several minutes (I think about .3 mile)
  • Good: Ahhhhh.... the hills! There is nothing better than starting a race running downhill through shady residential streets.
  • Bad: Harbor Island (right after the 10K point) felt like an INFERNO. You would think that a little spit of land along the San Diego Bay would have a nice breeze, but noooooo... it was the hottest part of the entire race. Mile 8, at the end of Harbor Island, was the first time I stopped and walked through a water stop. I also lost Laura around mile 7.5 or so. She was having a good run and I was slowing down a bit. I don't think it got much higher than 80 degrees, but at times it felt much hotter.
  • Good: The first nine miles or so of the race felt pretty good. I was averaging a really good time. My 10K split was just over 54 minutes (better than my PR for 10K) and my 15K split was almost exactly the same time as my 15K last month (1:24). I had a pace bracelet for 1:55 (they were out of 2 hour bracelets). Up through eight miles, I am pretty sure I was right on target for 1:55 (8:46 pace). Things were going according to plan. The eighth and ninth miles were starting to feel much more labored, but I had a cushion, so I thought.
  • Bad (VERY bad): Between the 15K mark and the 10-mile mark, my body betrayed me again (more venting about this later...) If you read my marathon race report, you know that I had tummy issues that affected my race significantly. Well... it happened again. It was actually worse than the marathon. Along one of my favorite parts of the city, instead of looking at the Star of India and the cruise ships, I was searching desperately for a bathroom. I was saying out loud, "oh no...oh no...oh no." I don't want to go into too much TMI, but I want to express how dire my situation was (well, maybe not dire...but it was not a good situation at the time). I was actually grateful for the pad that I need for every run (a byproduct of giving birth to two almost-ten-pound babies). I was also happy with my wardrobe choice of a running skirt. A black running skirt. As I turned into the city, there was a water stop and the angels sang as I spotted a bank of porta potties across the way. I was so happy to see those icky things. I am pretty sure that I wasted a minute or two with that detour. That, combined with my slower pace, made me realize that my goal would probably not be met.
  • Good: After the porta potty, I felt ten pounds lighter. As we turned along Pacific Highway, it was the first shade since the first part of the race. It felt SO nice. It was like air conditioning!
  • Bad: The rest of the race was mostly uphill. I was REALLY hitting a wall and just wanted to finish.
  • Good: My friend, Linda, came running by me looking like she was just starting out. She was like a little rabbit scooting up 6th street. I looked up her time and she finished in exactly two hours. Way to go, Linda!!
  • Bad: As much as I wanted to, I just couldn't keep up with her. My energy was gone and I couldn't push myself into that higher gear. I am pretty sure she ran the last mile or two in eight minute miles.
  • Good: The perfect song came on just before the 12-mile-mark on the hill. It was my powersong of "Time to Say Goodbye." It was so appropriate! At that moment, I decided to say goodbye to my two hour goal and just try to finish strong. It actually helped me run a little bit stronger once I knew that I was just going to do my best and not to worry about the goal anymore.
  • Good: The last stretch over the bridge and into the park was a blur. I think I had a pretty decent kick (I haven't looked at my splits yet)
  • Bad: I finished several minutes past my goal of two hours. I finished in 2:04 and change.
  • Good: It was my first Half Marathon and it was a PR!!!! I suppose it can't be my last half since I haven't broken the two-hour mark yet. Well.... it will keep me going.
  • Good: 2:04 is eighteen minutes faster than my half marathon split for the marathon.
  • Good: I was able to meet my blogger friend Alissa from Balancing Act. We were able to hang out and chat for a while and get to know each other. She is super nice and it didn't feel weird at all hanging out. Due to some car issues, her husband wasn't able to make it to the race. They were waiting for help so he could come get her. My friend Laura (who is one of Alissa's readers!) and I ended up taking her back to their condo, giving us even more time to get to know each other. I took some pictures on my phone and will try to get them posted soon!! I just love the Internet. What a great way to meet wonderful new people.

Although I think I told myself that I wouldn't do it again.... I am pretty sure that the half marathon is my distance. It is still long enough to feel like I really accomplished something yet not so long that the training overtakes my life.

Next up:
[possible] Balboa 4 Mile Cross Country-- August 30
Nike Human Race 10K -- August 31
[possible] Heartbreak Ridge Half Marathon -- September 13

7 comments:

MCM Mama said...

Nice job! I've only run one half marathon so far, but I really liked that distance. I have family in that area, so I might have to try that half someday.

Ugh on the potty issues! BTDT, worried about it coming up in the marathon I'm running. Glad it all worked out for you.

Kristin said...

Hurrah for you! I've been waiting all weekend to hear how it went. I think you did great, especially considering the delay due to the porta-potty alone! I thank the stars that hasn't happened to me in a race (my fingers remain crossed, knock wood, etc.), but it has in a regular run and it is horrible! That aside, I agree with you that the half is a great distance for a race. Start looking for your next one! (E.g...Las Vegas in December?)

jillwillrun.com said...

Good job, 2:04 is great. I would have loved that time this past weekend! :-)

Sorry you had some tummy troubles again. Hopefully you can figure out how to avoid that in the future!

Are you doing the Human Race 10K on your own or at a designated race spot?

Jenn said...

Congrats on the PR! Sorry about the heat and tummy issues. I had some tummy issues at my Half the other week, so I know how desperate you must have felt. Not a good feeling while running! Anyway, you did fantastic, something you should be tremendously proud of!

RunnerMom said...

Oh, I HATE having stomach issues on a run. You've got some time to figure out what works for you stomach wise before the Heartbreak Ridge Half. By the way, with the heat slowing you down and pit stop, you are SURE to break 2 hours in the next one.

2:04 and change is certainly nothing to sneeze at! I'd be thrilled!

Laura said...

Congrats on the race! And I love the good/bad format... it's exactly how I feel during a race :)

tgorourke said...

What a great race report! I am so sorry to not have put a shout-out on my blog to you, please forgive me. I was wondering if the half-marathon might be your distance, you have such speed.

I am glad to see that you changed your goal during the race, there is nothing wrong with that. And I'm so glad you and Alissa got to meet. I really think it would be cool if some of us bloggers did a relay like that Hood to Coast one that you mentioned on my blog a while back.

And by the way, I don't think I could even attempt to do 2:04 even if it was a perfect day. You are SO FAST!

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