road to the half marathon: complete!
posted: August 18, 2010
The weather could not have been more perfect along the coast of San Diego for my race day. It was cloudy with a light dewy layer that kept me cool and comfortable every step of the way. The first part of the race went slightly down hill, so I booked it, knowing in the back of my mind that the last two miles of the race I faced a slowly growing but rather aggressive hill.
My medal, so proud of it hanging over the San Diego skyline.
One of our ambassadors gave me a race day tip that I will carry with me on every run here on out. He told me to take each mile one at a time, and race yourself mile to mile. Bring a watch and time each mile so you have an idea of your pace by the end. That I did and in timing myself mile to mile, I suddenly wasn’t running 13.1 miles, I was running just 1.
Seamless socks, chocolate agave slow burning energy goo, saved my race and my medal is the proof.
I really was happy as a clam to be running this morning. One guest last week told me to smile at every kid cheering along the road and this would pick me up. Totally right, thank you for the tip Kat. I literally found a smile at every mile. The runners around me had become my allies in battle in my mind…At least until mile 9.
Smile like you mean it!
Fresh off mile 8, a looped part of the course where you ran past the runners ahead of and then behind you. I ran past my husband who was a couple minutes ahead of me and I was so happy to see him I found a little more bounce in my step. Then I looked up and noticed a guy in front of me wearing a terrible maroon and yellow shirt that read the words, “Fight On.”
My husband Alex, signed up for the race last minute so I would not be running it alone! Amazing huh? Yeah, his training was the carb load pasta dinner the night before…
Now, if you’re not a University of California at Los Angeles or University of Southern California alumni, this may mean nothing to you. But being a UCLA alum, and always a Bruin, my blood boiled in reading this. For you Canadians, I guess you could compare this to reading a shirt that said “American Hockey is amazing, so bite me Eh!”. Or something like that, I know lame analogy.
Bruin blood runs through these guns.
I have nothing personally against that guy wearing the shirt, it’s just in my blood to be upset in seeing these colours and passion for USC. I faced a choice, I could keep my pace, and continue to read the shirt that was clearly affecting my race, or I could speed up and pass the Trojan. So I sped up, passed him, and completed the mile at 9 minutes and 45 seconds. I didn’t see him again, but definitely thought about him later in the day.
Almost at the hill!
Coming to mile 11 I knew I had two miles of a hill left. Having calculated my pace in my head, I knew I was a good 6 minutes or so ahead of time so I gave myself 1 minute to walk and mentally prepare for the hill. I made it to the top, and almost asked the crowd on the sidelines if I was actually moving because it didn’t feel like it.
I thought I had caught up to the minutes I had banked, so I decided to sprint the last 1/4 mile of the race. My softball coach from UCLA, Sue Enquist, a woman you should definitely Google ran through my head at this moment. When we would run wind sprints and gassers after practice she would always, scream, “Run through the line! Not to it!!” This is a lesson that’s translated to much of my life, and in this particular moment came in quite handy.
Literally sprinting through the finish line!
I crossed the finish line, and my time read 2 hours and 17 minutes on the race clock, and I was crushed. My goal time was 2 hours and 15 minutes. My legs were tired of holding me up so I didn’t want to wait for them to post my official time.
Later that day, soaking my toes in epsom salt, I suddenly felt proud of myself. I ran and I ran well and that felt better than my time. My husband found online that our official times had been posted, and to my surprise he started to laugh. He said, “So they posted the race times… Your official time, wait for it… 2 hours 14 minutes and 45 seconds!”
Standing strong and ready for brunch.
I made my goal time and it felt amazing. Suddenly I thought of Coach who made me sprint through the finish, and you guessed it, my good friend from USC who I had to pass and thus shed 15 seconds off mile 9. Thanks to him and Coach I ran the race as a Bruin, and achieved my goal time, so fight on I guess!
This entire experience has been amazing, and I really want to thank those of you who kindly lent me your running tips, and compassionate encouragement. I really did feel like I ran with a team on Sunday, so thank you from the bottom of my heart. Until next time, namaste.