So this race went much better than I had initially planned. I had a pretty rough race the other weekend at the 13.1. I just wasn’t clicking and I felt like a Clydesdale out there. I went to bed early on Saturday after having a light dinner to try to make sure my stomach would be invincible on race morning. I parking in my secret Surf City parking spot, and for the fourth year in a row, it worked out magically. Warm parking garage, no one around, about .25 miles from the start… Doesn’t get much better. I was on the fence about wearing my Team Sparkle skirt, but in the end opted for wearing it again. It is not that I didn’t like the skirt, it’s just that I had a bad experience in the last race when I wore the skirt.
The weather was nice, it did get a little warm, but it was nice. I met up with Billy and we walked to the start line together. I was a little nervous that I needed to use the portapottie, but I did not allow enough time and thought I would be fine. I was still pretty sore from the Friday morning workout with Shea, but knew I would be using different muscles than those so I kept reminding myself that I would be fine. Billy and I said our goodbyes when I left him in the front corrals and I traveled into the back of the corrals. Not too far back, I should have gone back farther but oh well.
I never noticed the guy in the background of this picture is actually making like a funny face. Anyways, the race started and it was pretty uneventful. The first few miles ticked by and I kept telling myself to Relax. Relax. Relax Danica. Relax. Yes, I talk to myself while I run. Relax. Mile three came around and things were clicking. I had passed one section of bathrooms, and thought about going. I passed another one and took a quick break and went really fast. I’m glad I did because I drank a lot of water before the race. I had good music, my legs felt good and I checked down at my garmin and I was going somewhat fast. I figured I would try to keep running hard for as long as I could. I ran hard up the first uphill and took some sharkies at mile 5. I haven’t eaten on a run in a long time, and I tried to hydrate as well and drank a little cup of water at every other water station.
Mile 6, mile 7, I kept telling myself to relax. I started to do math in my head, which is a TERRIBLE idea since I’m absolutely horrible at math and realized if I worked hard I would be able to come in sub 2 hours. I knew most of my miles were under 9 minute miles and I was trying hard to keep that pace. Mile 8 and Mile 9 were good and right at mile 10 there were two small slight uphills. I don’t know why, perhaps it’s the fact that I never run any hills, but they really were tough for me and I could totally feel it in my quads. Finally I reached the peak of the hill and knew it was only a few miles left and I really had to push to get to the finish. I kept reminding myself the race was almost over and that I just needed to relax. Pull it together and just relax. At mile 10 I knew it was in reach and I just had to work the last 3 miles. Mile 11 came and I was getting tired. The bottom of my feet hurt and my hip was hurting a lot. FINALLY mile 12. This mile you are pretty much surrounded by spectators leading to the finish. The finish chute was much smaller than I remembered in the past. It seemed like the spectators gathered closer to the runners this year.
Mile 12 was where I really pushed hard. I was hurting but I knew it would be about another 8 minutes and I would be done. I just focused on the finish and being done! I finished right where I expected to be, and boy was I happy to have the 1 back in front of my finishing time. Be gone 2 something something!
I checked my official time later and I actually came in at 1:58:58. I totally could tell that in the middle I picked up the pace a lot and that’s where I was feeling good and things were clicking.
I was so glad that this race went much better than the race that kicked off 2012. I still was quite a ways off the PR, but I will take a sub two any day of the week. After the race I did feel pretty terrible. My stomach was pretty upset with me and I have been having terrible hip pain but I have been stretching and trying to ice it. It seems to be that it just needs to be popped. So strange.
Alas, a good race, and now I have happy feelings towards my Team Sparkle Skirt. :)
It was a lovely day and a good race experience as well! Hooray for not totally dying out there and running hard.