City to the Sea race recap!!
Today, I had a 2 part goal. Goal 1 was stated on this blog under my Goals, Gear, Stats page and what I publicly told people. I was aiming to finish at 2:10:00 or below. However, what I kept to myself was that the crazy in me wanted to try and hit 2:04:00.
So damn close!!!! Official time -2:05:53
Also because the course is flat to downhill for the first 5 miles before changing to hills, I was intentionally aiming for a positive split. So backwards I know, but I knew I could bank sometime in the beginning for when I knew I was going to slow down. It worked!
It was dark when I left my house this morning. And cold. The start line is about 30-35 minutes away so I made sure to head out with plenty of time. Found a very nice Chevron and they were nice enough to let me use their restroom when I got into town. The starting line is literally in front of the Abercrombie and Fitch and I was able to get a parking spot 2 blocks away. I could see the starting line and crowd from my car. Since it was so close and cold and dark, I stayed in my car until the last possible moment.
Once I joined the masses (2500 runners plus spectators in a half block space) I tried to find the right pacer. Since I was aiming for 2:10, I figured between the 2:00 pacer and the 2:15 pacer would be a good idea. The pacers wear costumes so I figured they would be easy to spot. Spotted 2:15, he was a pirate, but couldn’t find 2:00. By then it was a little past 7 and only just starting to lighten up, and we were off!
We crawled over the start line and the next 1.5 miles were chaos. This pack of runners did not separate like usual. It was 1.5 miles of dodging left and right, falling back and surging ahead. The 2:15 pacer was about a block ahead of me, what the heck? Mile 1 clocked in at 9:08, so what pace was he running? Too fast. 😦 It had just started to even out when we hit the first water station at mile 2, time to dodge the obstacle course. I passed up the 2:15 pacer here. It got better after that but I have to say that course seemed more crowded than last year, or maybe it was just the difference in my pace compared to last year.
Miles 1-5 were what I had planned to be my fastest miles and by mile 4.5 I was on track. At this point, it was the first crossover, so under the freeway we went. Coming up the other side, there was the second aid station but I was feeling ok. Hit mile 5 and now it was rolling hills time and time to lose the arm sleeves. I just kept running. I told myself I could take a walk break at mile 8 if need be. After just shy of 2 miles, it was crossover time again, this time over the freeway we went.
Mile 7 was another aid station, this time I took some water. Now was the part of the race I dreaded, the out and back. Running down a street and then back up may add miles but it also bites when you see all the other runners coming back and they are so much faster than you. It should work in reverse when I am running back but it doesn’t. I thought I remembered the out and back only being ¾ of a mile… nope, it was 1.5! Ugh, mile 8 was part of that out and back. Normally mile 8 is my favorite mile. This is the point when I know that even if I have to crawl, I will be finishing the race, and there are just 5 miles to go. Having 8 hit in the out and back, just didn’t hold the usual excitement. 😦 This where I finally saw the 2:00 pacer, turns out he was behind me until that point. He was dressed as a cyclist. Passed the aid station on the way out and was heading towards 9. And I was still running!!!
Up a hill and across a wooden bridge and it was mile 9, time to lose the gloves. I was still running but slowing down. Mile 10 was at downhill slope and then it was the last crossover, back under the freeway. Here I picked up the pace a lot because I did not want to be stopped for traffic like I was last year. Powered through the intersection and was met with the last uphill.
This is also where I started wheezing. Um, what? I haven’t used an inhaler in years, not to mention, I don’t even have one. So I took a walk break. 😦 I was so close to running the whole thing!!! I told myself that I would walk for 2 minutes. I got my breathing under control, made it to the top of the slope and started running. My toes were hurting and my knees were cranky but I was so close! I just kept pushing. I hit mile 12 at 1:53:something. Hell yeah! Only 1.1 to go. 12-13 I picked up the pace. Then just the .1 left to go. I swear this race seems like the longest .1 ever.
The finish line was crowded and people were cheering as I ran past. Not for me, but I can be in denial, right? Crossed the finish line and the clock said 2:06:54. Goal #1 done and done! Just shy of goal #2 and I knew that my chip time would be different than gun time since it did take a while to get across the starting line.
My mom and dad were at this finish line, so we took advantage of some photo opportunities and I took the chance to stretch. Since this was a point to point race, I was also very glad to have them there so I could hitch a ride back. It was really cold and my mom (race photographer) was not feeling well at all so we didn’t stay too long and chose to bypass the expo.
I am so pumped that I hit 2:05:53. It was something that I wasn’t sure I could do, and its great knowing that I succeeded. My next goal is to break 2:00, eek!!! That’s scary. I feel pretty good right now, just some pain in my knees. The real question will be how I feel tomorrow and Tuesday- always the worst day. 😦
Best race sign I saw today- I had just hit the halfway point and was beginning to drag. I saw some people standing to the side with a sign that read “Keep going, you’re running better than our government”. I don’t care what political affiliation you are, that was just the touch of smart ass sense of humor that I needed at that point. The liquid awesome ones were pretty good too.
Best improvement– My medal was handed to me ready to go at the finish line. Last year they handed it to me folded and wrapped in plastic. Thanks killjoy.
And– I ran all but 2 minutes of a half marathon!! I had no idea I could do that! 🙂
Hope everyone had an absolutely fantastic weekend, and if you ran or raced- awesome!