2015 City to the Sea 13.1 Recap

Sunday morning saw the completion of half marathon #14.  If I am doing my counting right that is.  😃


I headed down to SLO for packet pickup on Saturday.  Pickup was in the Running Warehouse parking lot and super easy.    I spent the day wandering around SLO and probably spent too much time on my feet.   I actually cleared my step goal that day without running.  Oops.   I had a general idea of what I was wearing for the race and had created a new playlist on Thursday.  Plenty of Shinedown, Linkin Park, AFI, Papa Roach with some Kip Moore thrown in.    My mother heard it being played in my car and asked if I had made an angry playlist.   😜IMG_2548I laid everything out for the next morning and set my alarm.   I made an effort to be in bed before 11.   Which was a moot point as I tossed and turned all night long.  If I got 2 hours of sleep I would be surprised.  I could not fall asleep.  My head hurt, my neck hurt, my arms felt kind of tingly.  What the hell?  It’s not like this was my first race, why was I having such issues?   I was so tired by 1 AM, I even considered a DNS.   But eventually I dozed off.

Race Day-

I was up, prepped and on the road by 6.   Where I proceeded to have some road-rage-aholic tailgate me on an empty freeway flashing his brights because I wasn’t driving fast enough.   Dude, seriously?  Once in SLO, I stopped at the same Chevron station I have in years past to use the bathroom.  Nice, bright, clean and not a port-a-pottie?  Score.  I parked 2 blocks from the start line and got ready.  This is when I realized that while I made a nice and shiny new playlist, I never actually put it on my phone.  #slackerfail

A few moments of cold.
A few moments of cold.

We’ve been in the middle of a heatwave and I knew it was going to warm up fast but I was actually chilled at the start line.   I have a habit of going out too fast, so I deliberately put myself behind the 2:15 pacer.   I was aiming for 2:10 or faster and didn’t even want to see the 2:00 pacer, I knew I would want to try to catch them.

Miles 1-3 9:13, 9:03, 9:02

These were an eventful 3 miles. I was feeling pretty good but I was also confused.  I was running a sub 9:30 pace and the 2:15 pacer was still in front of me.  Ummm, what gives?   Dude, you should be behind me now.  Then there was butt cheeks.  I admit I sometimes people watch while racing as a way to distract myself and help me keep my pace.   Plus I can check out race shirts and look for new races to run.  😄 But I noticed this girl whose shorts were so short, seriously I have underwear that covers more.   Maggie Vessey’s racing outfits cover more.  Then I started to feel bad because I could see other people noticing and making comments about her shorts.   But then I recognized a pair of socks in front of me- it was Heather of @sloluckystyle.  I pulled up along side to say hi.    Granted it was 1.5 miles into a 13 mile race but it was nice getting to meet someone I interact with on social media in real life.

Miles 4-6: 9:06, 9:23, 9:24

I was still feeling pretty good and I was pleased with the numbers I saw on my watch.  Mile 6 was the first uphill and I held onto a 9:24.   That number made me smile because I knew a 9:23 average pace would be a PR of 2:03.  I wasn’t banking on that though as I knew I had a big hill at mile 10 and another new hill around mile 12.    I was just focusing on how I felt and enjoying the scenery of a good race.    I also knew I was about to hit the course change.

Miles 7-9:  10:45, 9:23, 10:02

Right after those good thoughts, I had an inhaler moment.  I still haven’t mastered running and using my inhaler so it required a walk break.   That’s something that’s hard to practice since I only want to use my inhaler as a last resort.    The temp was rising and so was the humidity but I was still feeling ok.  I knew I had lost a PR but I was fine with that as it hadn’t been my primary goal of the day.    There was also a little more of an incline in mile 7 than I had anticipated.  Followed by a dead skunk which made things real fragrant for half a mile.  😖    Mile 8-9 brought us onto the Bob Jones trail which is very nice.  Well paved and surrounded by trees which meant shade!!!     The irksome part to these 3 miles was the guy shouting out that we only had 5 miles to go…at the 10K mark.    Grrrr.

Mile 10: 12:38

I slowed towards the end of mile 9 as I needed my inhaler again.    We came out of the Bob Jones trails and were headed to the main drag in Avila.   Which I have driven on numerous times and would have bet you money that it was downhill to the freeway.   I had been looking forward to that downhill before the hill at mile 10.  That downhill didn’t exist.   We across a bridge and across traffic before making a left- up a hill.  It looked like a freakin’ mountain.   The wheels came off hard.  The only thing consoling me was just how many people went to a walk on this damn hill.   Then we hit the freeway and made a left for the original hill I had been worried about.   And another spectator telling us it was last hill.  No it’s not!  Stop giving me false hope!!

Miles 11-13:  11:02, 10:54, 10:55

I never recovered from mile 10.    From there on out, I was in survival mode.  I walked way too much.    The temp had hit the high 70’s and the humidity had jumped.  I was almost out of Gatorade in my hand-held which is rare for me.    I tend to run races under hydrated because I found it works for me.   I carry a 10oz handheld of Gatorade and usually have half left at the end of the race.  I grab water at aid stations starting around mile 5.  I made myself sick drinking too much water at more than one race when I first started running.    To have an almost empty bottle with 2 miles to go was not a good thing.  I kept my head down and just kept trucking.  I knew I was in the home stretch and the crowds were picking up.  I could see the ocean and I was also starting to see people walking around with their medals and I wanted that medal.  😜

13.1- 2:12:40

The thing I forget about this race, that last .1 seems like it takes forever.   I think it’s because of the way the street curves.  From the mile 13 marker, you can’t even see the finish line, the road curves 2 more times.   But I finally saw it and crossed the line so happy to be done.   IMG_2659After being funneled through the shoot and receiving my medal- woo hoo, it’s seriously cool- I just wanted water and needed to find my parents.   They were both coming to this finish line.     For a local race, this finish area is the most congested I’ve seen.  I eventually found my mom and the puppy but not my dad or water.    I finally found water and refilled my water bottle then we headed for an empty space where my dad eventually found us.   I was hot and sweaty and while I felt pretty good, I ended up going back for more water.   We hung out a bit before we headed for their car.  They were my ride back to my car.  😏

IMG_2570 IMG_4683It was during the ride back to SLO that I knew I had made a rookie mistake.  Those 2 bottles of water were a miscalculation.  After they dropped me off at my car, I spent the next 30 minutes sitting on the curb by my car trying not to be sick.  #slackerfail2

IMG_2588IMG_2644Overall, I didn’t meet either of my pace goals but realistically I am ok with that.   I returned to run one of my favorite races and the course change actually made it better.  I now know to be prepared for that damn hill in the future.   I also have a few things I know I need to work on but we’ll leave that for another post.    I do wonder how I might have fared if the temps had stayed down but it is what is.   Gorgeous finish line though right?

12 thoughts on “2015 City to the Sea 13.1 Recap

  1. Congrats on an awesome race!! I know you said you didn’t meet your pace goals, but you were not that far off. The course sounds awesome!! Congrats on a strong race!!!


  2. Love that you finished and cracked up that you recognized Heather by her socks! I follow her on IG and enjoy it! When we were out of town for my grandfathers funeral, I took my running outfit and told my parents the night before I was going to run and not freak if they heard the door. I grew up around this area and love it, but never realized how not pedestrian friendly the area was! I survived and almost had a new PR! LOL


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