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...
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:
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!