This isn't really a race recap because I didn't "race" it. I thought about it but I hadn't recovered from last weekend's 12HR yet and thought I needed to take it easy.
I had planned on just going to watch the race because @DiminutiveRunr was going to be in town and racing it. Since she lives in London, I didn't want to miss the opportunity to meet her. She told me that there was no cap on the race and that she was going to register on race day. I didn't want to sign up for it early in case I couldn't run but if I could sign up on race day, then I had nothing to lose. I'd just see how I felt on the day.
I felt okay on Friday night. I figured I would be slowish but good to run a Half. It's crazy to think that I can pull a Half Marathon out of the hat whenever I want. Maybe not race, but running 13.1 is actually a lot of fun. You feel like you put in a good effort but you're not wiped from it.
So, on Saturday morning, I woke up at 4 and got ready to drive to Irvine. It's about an hours drive for me...if there's no traffic. The race started at 8 but I had to register first and stop at the bank and get gas (yeah, I didn't plan that too well) so I left about 5:20. I arrived a little after 6:30 and registered, got my bib, chip, & shirt and went back to the car to get ready and stay warm.
I went back to registration just before 7:30 to hit the porta potty...for the 2nd time that morning! (I seriously had to go all day. What's up with that?) Then waited at the meeting point for @DiminutiveRunr. Found her! I got to meet both her and her husband! Finally, a face to go with the name. She's actually in disguise because she's a super spy and I'm not allowed to reveal her name! Seriously. 007 type, for sure. ;)
Once we met up, we made our way over to the start corral which was crowded but not too bad. The race started a little after 8 and then we were off. At a nice, easy pace. The course meandered along the streets and river trails of Irvine. It had a lot of zig zagging in it and a few out & back sections (where I caught glimpses of @DiminutiveRunr). It's not the most beautiful course but it's not bad. Some of it was familiar to me from rides along the river trail.
I felt good until mile 10. I'd meant to take a gel about half way but I'd left it in the car and only had water to drink. I don't like Gatorade, which is what they had at the aid stations. So I had a drop in energy around there. Never walked but slowed down a little. I kept myself occupied with watching the runners around me. There were a lot of kids running the Half as prep for the LA Marathon & the Students Run LA program. There was a mentor and a student running near me and she kept asking if she could walk. He told her if she kept running, he would let her walk during mile 14. ;) I told her it was a good deal and she should take it. Then somebody spoiled it by reminding her we were only running 13 miles. Spoilsport! But she didn't walk!
Then I was at the finish and my first race of 2012 was done in a not too shabby 2:11:56. Frankly, I thought I would be out of commission for 7-10 days after the 12HR so to be running at all is mind boggling and a half marathon...doubly so. Wild! This is my medal:
Overall, I would say this was an okay race. I found water after the finish but never figured out where the food was, if they had any. The course has small "hills" while going from the bike trail to the street. I didn't really like all the turns & out & backs but it did give you a chance to see friends if you were running with them. Registration was smooth and the aid stations seemed well stocked (though I never used them). There was good crowd support at the start/finish but it got a little sparse in places. The volunteers were all from Woodbridge High School and they did a great job and were very cheerful. Actually, for $55, it's a pretty good deal. :)
So...I had a great day. Ran a Half, felt good, and met one of my twitter friends in person (who did really well despite jet lag and came soooo close to her 2 hour goal!). Pretty darn good way to spend a Saturday, don't you think?