Monday, May 11, 2015

OC Half Marathon Race Recap

I ran the OC Half Marathon on May 4, 2015. I'm a little late with the recap but I wanted to do one because this was a good race for me.

Going in, my goal was sub 2 hours. I had run 2:06:28 at Surf City and I hadn't tapered for that. With the training I'd done and the good temps predicted, I felt like I could do it.

I drove down to the expo on Saturday and picked up my bib and shirt. I had a bit of a panic attach because I couldn't find my confirmation email for registration and then I couldn't find my name in the bib list! I remembered that I had signed up for it at the Surf City Half and filled out a paper form. Well, they had entered my name wrong - Lisa Gonazales! Doh! So I picked up the bib for Lisa Gonazales and then went to Solutions and they fixed my name in the database. Whew.

I was staying in one of the host hotels so drove over there and checked in. The room wasn't quite ready so I went and got a sandwich for dinner and some goodies and then went back to the room. The room was really nice and they had a goodie bag of snacks and water waiting for me. 2 actually, because my friend Sue was supposed to be staying with me but she had to miss out because of an injury. :(

I slept pretty well that night and woke up at 3:30. I ate and then got ready and headed down to the lobby to wait for the shuttle to the start. It was supposed to pick us up at 5:05 so I made sure to get down there by 4:50 so I wouldn't miss it. But 5:05 came and went and no shuttle. :( Then 5:15 came and went and they told us the bus was missing and they couldn't get a hold of the driver! Aaahhh! Finally, one of the shuttle people pulled up in an SUV and took 6 of us to the start. I felt bad for those left behind but I made sure I got in. He couldn't drop us off in the shuttle zone though so we had to walk a little extra.

With the wait and the traffic to the start line, we got there too late for me to use the port-a-potties. And I really needed to go! There was also no time for a warm up as the corrals were filling up. I actually didn't know what corral I was supposed to be in but they didn't have any security on them so I looked for the 2 hour pacer and got in that corral. My intent was to hang with the 2 hour pacers until mile 10 and then see if I could pick it up.

Finally, it was go time. And I was ready!

1...2...3...Go! We were off.

The start was a little crowded but I was able to keep the pacers in my sights. After a while, it felt like we had more breathing room and I settled in with them. The first mile was 9:04 so right in the range I was looking for. I had decided to use the pace group because one of my biggest problems is that I go out too fast and I was hoping they would keep me in line. It definitely worked for the first mile. But then I felt like they were going to fast. The splits for miles 2 & 3 were 8:44 & 8:50. I knew they wanted a little cushion but I also didn't want to blow up. I decided to back off after mile 3 and let them go. I also slowed it down to the 9:05 range for the next 3 miles. I don't know if that was the right decision or not, but I felt like it was best for me.

I had a gel at 4.5 miles and stayed on top of my hydration. I was feeling pretty good. We had a hill in mile 7 and the course narrowed at the top of the hill. I slowed a lot on the hill and then couldn't seem to get back on pace so the next 3-4 miles were slower than I'd hoped. I almost gave up on 2 hours at that point and just cruising in at a 9:30/9:45 pace but gave myself a kick in the butt! Just try!

I did pretty good for the last 3. There was one last hill in mile 11-12 and then after that it was flat to the finish so I ran as hard as I could. The last mile was a balancing act of running hard but also fighting off calf cramps. Then finally there was the finish line and I was done!



I'll admit I was a tiny bit disappointed that I missed sub 2 by 15 seconds but I was pretty proud to hit that time and know that I gave it everything I had. I got my medal...
and immediately looked for a place to sit down because both calves started cramping! And the right leg...the front & back of the calf AND my foot were cramping. Yeah, that's not fun at all! But I sat there and ate pretzels and drank water and was finally able to get up and walk around.

The pic on the right of me coming in to the finish cracks me up but also reminds me that I ran as hard as I could.

I feel like I ran this race smart. I'm sure there are a couple of things I could have done better but my garmin finished at 13.19 so I did pretty good on the tangents. Food/drink was right on target. Maybe I just need more hill work so my legs can recover quicker after a hill? I don't know. But now I am itching to go sub 2! Here's the official splits:
Definitely from 6.2 to mile 10 could have used some improvement but I am proud of that last 5K. :)

Oh yeah, and I celebrated after with a cheeseburger. Yum!

I'm not sure when I'll have another opportunity to try for sub 2. My next scheduled half is the Disneyland Half Marathon in September. I'm not sure that's the place/race to do it. We'll see. I may have to sign up for another one between now and then!

Thanks for reading!

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