Sunday’s half was the Holly Jolly Half Marathon in Camarillo, CA. I didn't race this half marathon either. It would have been a good course to race though since it was double loop, flat road course and the weather was cool with a light rain. PR weather and course...but not for me.
I didn’t push myself during Saturday’s Paramount Ranch Trail Half so I didn’t feel tired and since it was a trail race, I didn’t feel beat up either. I was good to go for my last race of 2012!
This race didn’t start until 8 but was a little farther away so I only got to sleep in until 4:30. I got up, ate, got ready and then drove over to Camarillo. It was raining a little but for once there were no accidents on the freeways so I made it in good time. I got my shirt and bib and then went back to the car to stay warm. At the last minute, I decided to wear the shoes I’d worn for Saturday’s race so I spent about 30 minutes prying the mud from the trails off the shoes. What a mess! I almost gave up and wore the ones I’d driven over in but I would be thankful I did later.
The race started exactly on time after a few instructions from the RD and we headed out. The first 2ish miles were on the road and then we turned onto a river bike path for a while. It was nice and quiet and a good surface to run on. My left knee was a little sore from Saturday but after the first couple of miles it was fine. Although the majority of the course was flat, there were a couple of dips and small hills on the course and it was when we first hit those little downhills that I realized my quads were toasted from the day before. They did okay on the first lap though. I ran the first loop in a little under 1:15 and hoped the second loop would be the same.
When we headed out on the second loop, there was a man in front of me with a shirt that said Gooner 1 on it. I’m not sure why but I decided that I could not let someone with a shirt like that beat me! We were going pretty much the same pace but I was slowly reeling him in. Then about a mile into the second lap, he started walking a little so I passed him. But then he started running again and passed me back. :( But I just kept running my own pace. Pretty soon, he started walking again and I passed him again and then that was it. The course was a little curvy so I would catch glimpses of him behind me until about 4 miles to go. Then I wouldn’t see him again until the end.
Up until mile 11, I was thinking I would make it by 2:30 but at mile 11, my legs went dead and from that point on I started doing a run/walk. :( Mostly running with a small bit of walking here and there and the last mile had almost no walking. I kept looking over my shoulder for the Gooner guy because I still was not going to let me beat him! And I’d also passed a 14 year old boy around mile 10 and I didn’t want him to pass me back either. Hey, I’ll take motivation from wherever I can get it!
Finally, I was almost at the finish. We actually have to pass the finish and do a little out and back to get the whole mileage in which is not very nice. But it did give me a chance to see that boy again and then the Gooner guy so I could make sure they wouldn't catch me. ;) The Gooner guy gave me a smile and a little clap when he saw me and I laughed and smiled back. He must have known that I was using him to keep going!
And then I was across the line and I’d finished my 13th half marathon of the year in 2:35 and change. Blah. But I was just glad it was done. My legs were sore and tired and I was hungry! Here’s my medal:
Cute medal, eh?
So that's all the coyote wrote for 2012 racing. I wish I could have ended 2012 with a bang instead of a whimper but I can’t be too upset because this was my 30th race of 2012. Looking back on my race history, I did a total of 18 races from 2009 to 2011. 18 races in 3 years versus 30 races in one year! And this was the first year I did some Christmas runs which are a lot of fun. I would not give up any of the medals/buckles/coasters I've earned this year so I would not have done anything different. I think. It was a fun, amazing year and I'm glad I did all this racing. If nothing else, I learned some good lessons!
Thanks for reading!