Monday, February 4, 2013

Surf City Half Marathon

Yesterday, I ran Surf City Marathon with my friend Heather. She had not been training a lot but she did awesome. Probably climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in January makes awesome conditioning for running! I did average or the same as the last 2 half’s. It was disappointing because I had this fantasy of continued improvement when the reality is that improved times are more like a stair step.

On the shuttle bus to Race Start!
We carpooled with a guy from LaTri Club which has a web interface to find other people who are running races you are. The race organizers asked people to carpool – 4 to a car- and I think it really worked since race traffic was light.  It was great. I think as runners the least we can do is to try to reduce our carbon footprint a bit! So we show up at Randy’s house at 5:30 am and climb into his car and wait quietly to as to not wake up neighbors. His running friend, Christian, shows up and we take off. I had a thermos cup full of coffee and I am thinking – hey not bad! Halfway to the race, Christian realizes he left his bag with race tag and timing chip back in his car. Ooops. It’s too late to turn back and he takes it well. We get to the race and park in a lot with a shuttle to race start. Very easy. The guys take off to try to get a new bib and timing chip for Christian (which they get and kudos to nice race personnel). I take Heather to the Hilton hotel where we hang out in the down stairs lounge and use their luxurious bathrooms. Way better then the porta potty experience!

I was wearing compression sleeves on my legs due to muscle problems in my calves. Ok – basically I think I over trained over the last 2 weeks because I am pushing to be Tri ready by March 03. I tried to taper but really didn’t. I had a migraine the day before and I took migraine meds which have residual affects for 24 hours. So I went to the race muscle sore and a wee bit tired. I have written about resting and I believe it BUT I didn’t do it. I think training for multiple races is tricky particularly when you have set personal goals. I guess it retrospect I should be glad I held my time – it could have been worse.

The weather was perfect and I didn’t even need my throw away sweatshirt. Heather and I ran side by side till mile 8 at a very steady 10 min pace. Then, Heather just felt it and it was strong and off she went! It is so awesome when that happens. That happened in my 10k and its funny because it’s a like a little switch goes off and you just go! I was hoping she would break 2 hours and she came close but I think with speed training she could easily do it next race.

The sky was clear blue, the wind was light and the temp was around 70 -72 at the end of the rest.  I tried to keep my pace but I hit the fracking wall at mile 11 and just struggled the final 2 miles. I told Heather at mile 7 that I only had two miles in me at this pace and I ended up lasting longer and pushing which was good to be able to push past what you thought you could do. Too me, it felt like a lack of energy as opposed to leg pain or cramps or anything. I pushed the gas pedal and – nada. I crossed the line and immediately had nausea and tension breathing – I walked it off.

We grabbed some food and ate a bit then walked to the bus. The guys finished ahead of us and were on the bus already. The guys had a great race and I think the general consensus was that it was a perfect golden sunny Cali day to run along the beach. It’s really important to me that the run is visually lovely so when I am hurting or feeling low, I just look around and immediately feel better. This is what I missed during the night run! The sunshine shimmering on the pounding surf and the high wispy clouds. All good. 

My fav medal! 
It was lovely having someone drive home and I just sat in back sipping coconut water and eating pretzels. It’s nice to hang out with other runners and laugh about the race – only runners can chuckle about feeling like puking or having a heart attack. I couldn’t stop sweating though and it was odd because I usually don’t sweat that much but it was just rolling off me. I changed my shirt before I got in the car and I just got completely soaked again which has never happened to me. I put my fleece on so I wouldn’t leave a puddle in the car.

Heather and I went to a celebratory brunch at the beach. Pancakes and bacon for me! Yeah  - I know I got to work on the healthy eating but I needed a treat. I went back home and my husband let me nap and lie on the couch for the afternoon before making us a yummy dinner. We don’t watch sports so the afternoon involved reading and some computer games. I will think about the next three weeks of training for the tri tomorrow! My son has 5am practice tomorrow so I guess I am swimming in the morning – nothing like a long course swim for recovery! I am serious. In fact, considering all the sports involved in triathlon, swimming is the most peaceful. I love biking because speed is fun and running is good but it is disciplined work for me. I guess my life is so much about water (I live on a boat!) that even though swimming is hard work and my technique is still lacking, hey I am in the water floating! Amen. 

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