Race- Surf City 13.1
Location- Huntington Beach, CA
After the hotel snafu of Saturday and once I accepted that I would not have a nice, leisurely race morning- after my mother and I had mapped out a long, circuitous route to the race start- I realized the even bigger mistake I had made. I hadn’t packed any water. What? How?! I had a bottle of Gatorade and my Skratch Labs but no water outside of what I had drank on the drive down. Face palm. So after a yummy dinner at Red Robin- water, lettuce wrapped burger and a few fries for me- we stopped at a Walgreen’s. Where I bought 8 bottles of water. 🙂 Then it was back to the hotel for a little downtime before I headed to bed early. And proceeded to wake up every hour on the hour. Grrr.
Luckily, I have my pre-race ritual down, so I don’t have to get up too early. As of right now, I am still racing on an empty stomach and it has been working out. The race had a 7:45 start but I wasn’t planning on being there super early, I knew it would be a while before my corral crossed the start line. My mom was able to drop me off a few blocks from the start line a little before 7:30. Another bonus about arriving “late”? No line at the port-a-potties. Except the damn thing almost blew over with me in it!
Ok, the corrals. Serious cluster-f***. What is the point of asking a participant their projected finish time if it’s not used for corral placement? More than a few people in my corral were in a similar position. I put down a projected 2:10 finish time. The 3:30 pacers were about 2000 people ahead of me. Seriously. I considering jumping corrals but at that point it was already so late. Grrrr. My corral crossed the start line around 8:15.
My plan was to treat this like a well supported long run and hopefully maintain around a 10:00 min pace. Mile 1 started out ok. My legs felt good and my pace felt good. Mile 2 required more dodging. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with people walking at races- however if you are walking 6 people across in the first 2 miles of a race- we have an issue! This happened more than once. Then the first water station was a crowded mess but I had learned from last year that this was the case and just avoided it all. I also a music snafu in mile 2. I had started my playlist in the starting corrals and paused it. When I pushed start around mile 2, Christmas music started playing. What?!
Miles 4-6 10:30, 10:54, 11:08
By my standards, this course is flat, the only real hill is in mile 4. I was excited to see it as I had an ankle ache that I needed to run out. And I did but I was starting to realize that I was having troubles catching my breath. I didn’t feel like I was pushing hard but I was starting to wheeze. I took a quick walk break to try and get things under control. It didn’t really help. There was a little down hill coming up and I was hoping to make up some speed but I just kept slowing down. My inhaler wasn’t helping either. Mile 6 is where I got real. This breathing issue is not new. I have been having troubles since I was sick in January. It’s more than my usual asthma, it comes with some odd chest pain, but I was hoping that denial would make it all go away. Because that works so well, right? Yeah no. I called my mom during mile 6 and let her know I was having some issues but was going to tough out. I didn’t need her getting the real time runner alerts and wondering what the hell was going on. 🙂
Miles 7-9 11:50, 11:35, 11:37
New game plan was a run/ walk plan. 4:30 of running and 1:00 of walking. The running was slow so I was hoping that these intervals would keep me moving but not gasping for breath. I changed my watch face to just show the interval times so I had no idea what my overall time was. This was a long section of out and back so I was able to see Ashley of RatherbeRunnin’ coming back on the other side of the highway looking strong. Luckily the course is scenic so I was able to enjoy the view. I also had time to people watch. PSA here, a fabric may be black but that does not mean that it is opaque! If I can see the moles on your butt- wear underwear!! Ok, PSA over.
Mile 10- 13:04
This was a struggle. Even 4:30 seemed like way too long to run. I was wheezing and the inhaler was useless. We ran through the Cliff shot zone in mile 10 and I grabbed a citrus and a mocha one. Both have caffeine and I was hoping for a Hail Mary pass and that one would help. I walked a lot. The finish line seemed so very far away.
Miles 11-13 12:17, 11:50, 11:36
I was beginning to think this was going to be my slowest half yet. And it was getting so hot. I had been drinking water at each station but now I was dumping it down my back too. The volunteers were also having troubles keeping up with the demand for water. There were some stations out of cups. I am hoping more were on the way as there were thousands of people behind me still. I was trying to stick to my intervals but the walking sections were getting longer. It was getting more crowded on the course as well. I accidentally smacked a guy in the crotch when he came up on my right. Oops!!! Sorry! I just kept moving towards the finish line, the increased crowd support was helping. I walked the beginning of mile 13 and then ran the rest in. I crossed the finish line gasping and wheezing and promptly burst into tears.
Not my slowest!!! I collected my medal and avoided all the photographers. I heard my mom and thought I was losing it but then realized she was on the other side of the fence. I made my way through the recovery stations and then out of the chute into the crowd. I met with my mom and headed to a curb to sit. My legs felt good but I was so tired from fighting my lungs for so long. It gave me time to admire my medal though- it’s huge!!!! And was fought for. But it was also a lesson in something I should already know- you can’t ignore things and hope they go away. It doesn’t work like that. Was this race I wanted? No. But every rough race is a lesson learned, right? I still got to run with thousands of other crazies like me. 🙂 And for the record- I have a doctor’s appointment next week.
The day was finished out resting in the hotel watching the Super Bowl- yay Broncos!! I needed some time off my feet—I had big plans for Monday—-Disneyland!!!!! But I’ll save those adventures for next post. 🙂
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