I went to pick up my packet on Friday afternoon. Because of the "not so small" nature of this race, they split up packet pick-up to 2 different weekends. I chose Friday, since it was just a day away from the race. Lucky for me, I walked right in, AND the timing chip was already in my bag. These races normally have you pick them up at the starting line. I also found a new tech tee on sale for $18, a steal!
Friday night we went to the baseball game and instead of leaving early for a spaghetti dinner at home, I opted to buy the asian noodles sold at the game. The cook was so nice he even offered me fresh spinach to top it off!
So, I was able to set out all my gear for the next morning and still get a good amount of sleep. The race started at 8am, so I didn't have to wake up too early!
Saturday morning, I woke up with no trouble and got all my gear on. My bib was already attached to my shorts, all I had to do was attach the timing chip to my shoes once I had them on. My gear check bag was already packed too (although the dogs got into it the night before and ate a whole tube of Neosporin...don't worry they're still alive...somehow). So I headed out the door.
I heard the parking situation was gonna be horrible, along with a half mile walk to the start line, so I headed over there early, only to find that all the parking was taken and we had to create new lots ourselves! As I was walking to the gear check, I ran into a friend, so we made the half mile trek together. We checked gear, used the port-o's and walked to the start line just in time for the horn! I tried to be close to the front since it's a gun start, but when 641 people are signed up to run the half, it's a little tough getting that close. As we waited for the horn, I saw a few of my sorority sisters I haven't seen in years...so that was nice!
And we're off! The race started on a dirt trail that we followed for about a mile around a huge field. It was very narrow and so you can imagine what 641 people looked like trying to get through there! At one point I was doing an 11:30 minute mile, so I bunny hopped through the weeds to get around some people and find some breathing room. I was eventually able to bring the first mile down to around 9:41.
Miles 2 and 3 were on the street and we sort of did a weird out and back and loop around the surrounding neighborhoods. It was cool to see everyone running the race...such happy faces at mile 2! At one point near mile 3ish, the front 2 runners of the 10K passed us and it looked like they were jogging! They were 3 miles away from finishing and I was still 10 miles away...wasn't very nice!
The course was flat and beautiful...very expensive houses (ranch style) and wineries lined the roads, horses ran around in their fields, dogs barked from the fences, crowds gathered on the street corners, trees gave some much needed shade, and the pack was really thinning out. One guy on a bike who was cheering on someone around me, kept riding up a mile and waiting to cheer us on, then another mile, and so on and so forth for about 11 miles. I never saw him at the finish line, but if it weren't for this guy, I'm not sure I would have made it out alive.
Mile 8 was when things took a turn...not for the worse...but those later miles were nothing like the first 8! My right hammy started acting up, my left knee was feeling funny, and it sure was getting hot out! I felt like I had been fueling well throughout, the course was flat, but I was just dead. Around mile 9 I had convinced myself to switch to the 10K in 2 weeks instead of running another half! By mile 10 I was doing some weird jogging-shuffle thing! At one point in the last 3 miles I looked at my pace and it indicated I only had 1 mile left (but I had 3)...that's how slow I was going! Luckily I wasn't running for time, but for pride.
So, although I wasn't running for time, I still had a goal time in mind of 2:20, and my official time was 2:20:18. Looks like I was right on track! Here's me at the finish looking like I'm in extreme pain and walking like an old man!
|Just walking it in!|
The after-race story is for another post, but just so you know, I did a 4 mile recovery run yesterday to shake out my legs, and I'm back to my crazy thinking ways of running the half in 2 weeks. 2 weeks still to decide, so I'll keep you posted on that!
Have a great week!