It was the second time I'd run this race and this time went WAY better than the last time.
I wasn't planning to run it. I didn't sign up for it until last Tuesday. I had to get the okay from my coach since it wasn't on the schedule. He said okay. I had 16 miles planned for Sunday so the plan was to warm up for 2 miles, run the half, and then run a 1 mile cool down. We (my coach and I) knew that I might not run it as fast as Star Wars Half because I hadn't tapered but it would be fun to see how it went. I feel like I have gained a lot of confidence in just the 2 short weeks since I ran Star Wars and I was secretly hoping to beat that time.
On Saturday morning, I ran 5 miles per my scheduled. Justin had had a hard workout on the schedule but switched it to a 5 mile with the middle mile being a 30 sec hard/90 sec easy mile. It went well and I felt good.
That capped off a 53 mile week for me including one day of run commuting (12 miles round trip) and 201 miles for the month of January! It was so awesome to see the 200 number again. Finally.
After the run, I drove down to the expo. I didn't spend a lot of time there. Just picked up my bib and shirt. And signed up for the OC Half while I was there. I also visited with Sue a Run It Faster for a little bit. I also bought another pair of Hokas. Oops. Oh well. You can't take it with you so might as well buy fun stuff. :)
I had a good dinner that night and then slept really well. I did have a goal for the race but I was not really nervous because I knew that really whatever I did would be fine...as long as I beat last year's time (2:39), that is.
I woke up at 4:30, ate, got ready and drove down to the race. I decided to park at one of the satellite parking lots and then take a shuttle to the race. I had hoped to see the start of the marathon but I had to wait for the next shuttle so I was too late. I had plenty of time to do a 2 mile warm up though. Which I did along the beach and it was a beautiful morning.
The half marathon started at 7:45 with waves going every couple of minutes. I managed to start my watch on time so I was able to watch my pace pretty closely. I knew I needed a 9:33 pace and pretty much kept that up throughout. The first mile was slightly faster than it should have been but not too much. The course is mostly out and back along Pacific Coast Highway with a detour for a couple of miles taking us inland. PCH is really flat with tiny rollers but the inland portion has a nice little hill to give you a break from the flat. I kept my pace even through there and did really well.
I had planned to take 2 gels during the race. I'm not sure if I really needed 2 but wanted to practice for the LA Marathon where I plan to take gels every 4.5 miles. So at 4.5 miles I had a gel and that went well. I had my next gel at mile 9 and that went down pretty well too. I was a little worried because it was sunny and warm and I was dripping sweat by mile 5 but I seemed to be doing okay. I have not tolerated direct sun very well since cancer. I seem to get hot right away and sweat a ton. It's so gross. :( Buy anyway...I didn't feel like I was going past the point of no return so didn't hold back. I think I may have looked a little rough though because somewhere in mile 10, a Race Guard ran by me and gave me a long look. LOL. I tried to smile and look like I wasn't dying. :)
So, I would say the first 10 miles went according to plan. But I lost steam in the last 3 miles. :( I was running about a 10 min pace and couldn't speed up for the life of me. On the plus side, I wasn't slowing down any more than that either and I knew if I kept it up, I could beat my Star Wars time. I sure was happy to see the finish line though!
2:06:28! I'd shaved a minute off my time from Star Wars! Woo!
I got my medal (I love the surfboard medals from this race)...
POST RACE RAMBLINGS
I'm happy with how this race went. With not tapering and signing up at the last minute, I think I did pretty well. I've dropped my half time by almost 30 minutes since the Leading Ladies Half last August. I feel like I ran it smart and pretty even but for sure I was feeling the heat and that caught up with me in the end. If only the race had started earlier! 7:45 is too late! One other good thing is that I think I recovered from it really well too because I am finishing up another 50 mile week this week and didn't have any real soreness afterward except for a little bit of grumpiness with my left ITB.
So race 1 of 3 in the Beach Cities Challenge is done! Next will be the OC Half in May and then the Long Beach Marathon in October.
My next race is the Cummins Falls Half in Tennessee in 2 weeks and I plan to try and go sub 2:05 again there. It has a hill...a real hill...so it will be tough but I
Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend!