For almost a year now I have felt out of sorts and thought I might never get back to where I was before the Missoula Marathon, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, shin splints, etc. But in the weeks before the RNR San Diego half marathon I started to feel like my old self and was running further and faster without pain than I had in months. So when we got on the plane for San Diego Saturday morning I was pretty excited to see what I could pull off on Sunday. My goal going into the race was 1:45 this would not be a PR but would give me confidence going into fall marathon training that I could meet my goal of running a 3:35-3:40.
As we stepped out of the airport and I felt the cool air (instead of the Texas blanket of heat) I knew race day weather would be perfect and it would just be a matter of my body holding up. We went straight to the expo to pick up my packet. Instead of my name, I had Turtle printed on my bib for good luck.
We had fun walking around and picking up goodies and taking pictures. Then ate an early dinner and walked around downtown a bit. That was it for the day really as I just wanted to chill out and go to bed early.
Race day morning wake up time came quickly since the race started at 6:15 and I wanted to get on my shuttle by 5. We had a bit of a hard time finding our way to the shuttle due to closed roads and the shuttle got stuck in the traffic going to the race start and I got to the race with only minutes to spare. But I couldn’t so straight to my corral because I needed to stop at a porta potty prerace and of course the lines were ridiculous. The race started while I was still in line, so I had to run to the start when I was done to start with my assigned corral.
Even though I got there when corral 5 was released I was surrounded by people who were running much slower, so I had to keep weaving around people in order to keep the 7:55 pace I needed to run. With temps in the 60s this pace felt really easy but I made sure to not go to fast early on… I really did not want to bonk.
The miles ticked by.. I made sure I took advantage on the downhills and just maintained my pace on the uphills and flat portions of the course. About 3 miles of the course was on a highway that was extremely slanted. This was awkward to run on and bothered my ankles. I kept chugging along but weaved a bit trying to find a more even portion of the road to no avail. Weaving along a two lane highway 3 or 4 times added distance without getting me closer to the finish line unfortunately. So even though I was ticking off some pretty fast miles I knew the pace on my watch and the pace for my race would be different. The last few miles were pretty flat and once I got to mile 10 and realized I would meet my goal if I could just maintain my pace, easier said then done at the end of a race. I was feeling tired and had to really focus on my pace because my body wanted to slow down. On the last mile I could feel myself reaching my limit but I just thought of all the tempo runs my husband and I had done and how we really pushed the last mile and that gave me confidence that I could do it and I even managed to sprint to the finish line. I crossed the finish line with a time of 1:43:38. I wasn’t sure whether or not that was a PR(it wasn’t_..but it didn’t matter). I met my goal of 1:45, ran a smart race and finished strong. All the things I tried unsuccessfully to do on my races this Spring, until now. So happy and relieved to finally have a good race this year..it has renewed my confidence in my running ability and I am now ready to ramp up my training and set some new PRs this fall.
Side notes about the race: The water/cytomax stations were well stocked and there was plenty of post race food, beer (I’m not a beer drinker but it was there), goodies and music.
We spent a few days in San Diego and loved every minute. Perfect weather… beautiful flowers, trees, scenery… the beach (we started every morning with a nice walk).. the zoo and safari.. Legoland..Seaworld. All of it was delightful. I would definitely recommend this as a destination summer race, so much fun!