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.  😃

Pre-race

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 Comments

  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!!!

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    1. Thank you! It was a great course, I like the changes and next year I will conquer that hill!

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  2. That damn hill! Despite it, you did great! Congrats!

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  3. 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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    1. Right? Bonus to those “flat runner” pics runners post! There are so many streets that are not runner friendly- give me a bike lane please!!

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