San Diego Holiday Half Marathon

Monday, December 28, 2015

#2 was harder but also easier. It wasn’t as emotional as the first one but still I felt accomplished.

This race was smaller than Tulsa. The start was literally 100 feet from our hotel room. I woke up 2 hours beforehand, not by choice. But I was grateful to clean the system before the race. The last thing I want to do is use a port-a-potty during a race. I had my half bagel with Nutella and a bit of a bad banana. My nerves were just as bad as the last race. I know this race was mostly downhill but the day before we drove up the one big uphill and that made my nerves a bit rattled.

The Start
We started in waves. We were in the 3rd and last wave. There wasn’t much fanfare at the start. We ran down a small hill, turned the corner and ran up a small hill. They advertise this race as a potential PR as there is over 700 foot elevation drop and only one real hill. Well that hill was quite the hill. It started just after the half mile mark and topped out at just over a half a mile later. The climb was 125 feet.  Mile 1 was during the hill and I finished at 12:00. Considering the hill, I was surprised that I was that fast. I was relieved to get to the top and start the downhill sprint. Even though I walked up a lot of the hill, my mile 2 split was only 10 seconds slower than the first at 12:10. We had our first water stop at mile 2. It was a welcome stop. I ate some sport beans and drank the water and made the turn to get on the running path. The first 2 miles were on a rough road. It was around this time we saw the first causality…a girl puking. The start of mile 3 had another hill. This hill was only about 50 feet but considering I was thinking it was downhill from the high point, that was a bit deflating. Haha! Mile 3 came in at 12:38. A little slow but mile 4 made up for that!

The Middle
Mile 4 was fast. It was almost entirely downhill. We were literally flying down the hill. I should have held back a bit but I didn’t.  Our pace during the mile at one point was under 10:30 but I slowed a bit at the end and came in at 11:19. Mile 5 had some rolling hills and we had another water stop with more beans.  It wasn’t that exciting of a mile. Mile 6 was entirely downhill however the pitch was very slight. The pace came in at 12:11. My 10K split was close to my Twin Cities 10K race time which was really good. Mile 7 and 8 were generally downhill with a few rollers here and there. I was very consistent as both miles came in at 13:20. A little slower than I would like but oh well. Eric got me through mile 9 at a respectable time of 12:58. This stretch was by a residential area. It was very quiet. I was starting to fade and knew that I couldn’t keep up with Eric’s pace. After the water stop at mile 9.3, Eric left me. I pulled out the M&Ms and ate half the bag while drinking the water. It was a welcome relief as I was hungry.

The End
As expected, mile 10 was slow, my slowest. From this point to the finish, there were no big downhills,  just rolling hills. I used mile 10 as a recovery. I walked more to stretch out the shins which were mad at me after all those steep downhills. I was also having hip pain. I don’t know what that was about. I’ve never experienced that before. Oh and lets not forget the 3 rolled ankles. I was beat up! When I saw my pace was starting to plummet, I told myself that I couldn’t let my pace go over 13:00 if I wanted to finish faster than Tulsa. So I did a lot more run/walk segments during miles 11 and 12. I would walk for a bit and when my average pace get close to 13 minutes I would start running again. This went on and on for two miles. In the middle of that was the last water stop. I finished off my M&Ms. I was happy to have them. Mile 11 and 12 were close in time at 14:10 and 14:09. After a slow mile 10, it was nice to be a bit faster. Once I got done with mile 12 I knew that I was going to PR this race unless something terrible happened. I knew that I had to keep my pace under 13:10 to be faster than Tulsa. I continued to do the run/walk thing but this time I allowed my pace to go a bit over 13:05. I finished at 2:52:31, a whole 2 and half minutes faster than Tulsa. 

I was very excited to get to the finish. It had warmed up a lot and I was hot. The food at the finish area wasn’t as great as Tulsa. A lot of stuff was already out. The bananas were green and they ran out of water. We stood in a long line for the shuttle back to the hotel. It was a successfully race. A great birthday present!

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