I put this race on my calendar back in November. Something about it just looked awesome. Then the December of flu happened and I ran a whopping 14 miles. Well crap. I took time off in November intentionally so that meant a long break with very little running. Well, crap, what now? Cue freak out. I seriously debated a DNS but I couldn’t start the year like that right? Right.
I was doing this but I was under trained, out of shape and freaking out. I had no idea how this was going to go. I was too tired to even pull off a flat runner, how about a pile? 😛 The longest run I had done in months was 7 miles. The farthest I had run in my Sayonara’s was also 7 miles. This was going to be interesting. I told my mother I was going to take awhile, how long I wasn’t sure but that she shouldn’t even start looking for me until the 2:30 mark.
Race morning dawned all too early and a little cold while standing around in the corrals. I knew it would feel good when we started running though. The race had a wave start and the announcers were upbeat and trying to keep the crowds entertained while we waited. Which I appreciated until the man introduced corral 4 as the “back of the packers”. Corral 4 contained the 2:00 hour pace group. WTH? I was in corral 5 in between the 2:20 and 2:30 pace groups. His comment did not go over well with the runners around me. Grrr.
Mile 1- 11:05
The plan was to run the first 2 miles and then go to a run/ walk of 3/1. Mile 1 had a pretty decent uphill and I was pretty proud of myself for almost running the whole thing until I remembered that I had another 12 miles to go after this and probably shouldn’t flame out after mile 1 just due to stupid pride. So I forced myself to walk that last part of the hill.
The course has 2 decent inclines (mile 1 and 7) but otherwise it’s a nice rolling course, which is kind of my jam. My plan of 3/1 was kind of thrown to the wind and I was just running when it felt good and walking when I needed to. The views of the ocean to the right were pretty awesome and the village of Carlsbad was pretty cute. Aid stations were on point and there were surprisingly more people out cheering than I thought. There were also bands playing music along the way. I was warming up too but it felt good to be running in a tank top though.
Miles 6-7- 10:49, 11:41
Well crap, I can see that hill coming, sure looks fun. At least it has a decent downhill leading up to it. I also had a moment where I mentally checked out. Not in a bad way but in a nostalgic, spiritual way. The 15th was my grandmother’s birthday and there was something about the way the sun was peaking through the clouds that gave me pause. And peace. Then it was on to the hill… and a fair amount of walking. Well, until Last Resort by Papa Roach started playing on my phone and then I randomly started bounding down the course.
Know what I forgot? Humidity. Yeah, silly, you’re running next to the ocean, it’s going to be humid. My lungs let me know they weren’t happy. Inhaler time! I was feeling surprisingly ok though. I was tiring but that was to be expected but I didn’t feel bad. I knew there weren’t any hills (by my definition, only rollers) ahead and I had a good downhill towards the finish. I had no idea what my time was, I had my watch face on my intervals. I just knew that the 2:30 pacer was still behind me. But they had also started behind me so that didn’t necessarily mean anything. My 3/1’s had never fully formed and I was still running whatever I felt like.
Miles 12-13- 11:29, 10:45
Damn, my toes were kind of hurting, boo. Well, it could be worse. I was so close! And a downhill was coming! Just as I was coming up on mile 12 I noticed the 2:30 pacer coming up on my left. No!!! I bolted. It helped that we were coming up on the downhill section even if it seemed shorted than I thought. Alright, I got this, lift and coast. Weee……Baaaaam!!! Halfway down the hill, someone came to a complete stop right in front of me. I couldn’t stop, I slammed into them. How neither of us hit the ground, I have no idea. I went pinwheeling while colorful words spilled out of my mouth. We briefly checked on each other before moving on. I kept running towards the finish. I ended up taking a walk break not too long later, I felt like I had wrenched my right leg in the collision. Boo. I tried to shake it off so I could run it in to the finish. Except I had to dodge a woman with a giant purse meandering through the course! What?! Finally around her and to the finish.
Sub 2:30? Where the hell did that come from?! I mean it’s miles from my PR but it’s also a helluva a lot better than I thought I was going to pull off going into this race. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me this year but maybe this was the race I needed start the year with. 🙂😀 I can do this.