The moment you've all been waiting for...Race Day!! Read the Pre-Pre Race Update or San Diego Pre Race reports if you want all the deets!
After a blissful night of rest in the most uncomfortable bed ever, we awoke for the 6:15am start time (more like 6:45am for us slowpokes in a later corral)! We were dressed and ready pretty quickly since we had laid everything out the night before. It wasn't quite as cold as we thought it would be so we didn't need our throw away pants...I opted to wear my long sleeve shirt just to be sure! We walked the two blocks over to Balboa Park and ran into a hundred other racers headed to the start line! About 4 more blocks up we stopped for the port-o-potties. I needed to get one last pee break in before the start in hopes of not needing to stop during the race. Here we are before the race!Notice how well slept we look! While waiting in line to pee, the race started! We knew we still had another half hour before our corral would cross, so we didn't worry! We got out of the port-o's with plenty of time to wait in our corral and for the GF to get really really scared and nervous! She didn't really train for this race AT ALL! The most she's run this whole year was a 10K on May 6th. She didn't run for about 2 weeks after that because of this intense summer school class she was taking and really only had about a handful of runs the week before the race. So her main goal was to finish! Actually, her time goal was to hopefully finish in 3:30:00. I knew she could do it, but I told her just to do her best, run the 10K we knew she could do and then try a run/walk thing from there until she finished! Still a bit scared we crossed the start line together and fell into my pace and sadly left her behind. I knew she'd do just fine!
If you remember from a post last week or perhaps the week before, I gave up on making this my PR race. My training wasn't going well AT ALL and so I decided to go into it having no expectations. If I walked, I walked...if I was thirsty, I'd stop and have an extra cup of water...if something started to hurt, I'd stretch it out and take my time. I knew I'd still finish with a somewhat respectable time, but I wasn't worried about much! This actually made the race a lot more fun.
Mile 1 was some uphill and some zig-zagging through the crowds. It astonishes me that people are already walking in the first mile...not the ones who started walking and walked the whole thing, but the ones that I was running behind and they immediately stop in front of me. I'm sure they were thinking "What did I get myself into?"...I just sort of hopped around them and made my way up the hill.
Miles 2 through 4 were pretty spectacular. They were also mainly downhill! We winded through Balboa Park and hit the 5K mark just past this awesome Organ player...He was playing the Sound of Music and these 2 gentlemen behind me were very excited about it! At mile 4 we entered the highway and although it was a spectacular downhill, it was also very slanted. I added on some mileage moving up and down the lanes trying to find the flattest part of the road because my hamstring was starting to act up.
Miles 5 and 6 flew by as we still cruised the highway. At some point a lady handed me a popsicle, so that was exciting! Mile 7 was another major downhill area, but only to be followed by an uphill portion...we corkscrewed off the highway, went over the road and switch-backed onto the other side of the highway. We got to pass a pretty cool drum band though, so that was entertaining. I'm not sure I remember most of miles 8 or 9 but they sort of flew by pretty quickly. I was noticing that my body felt amazing other than my hammy, the weather was amazing, and I was almost completely soaked with sweat from head to toe!
Miles 10 through 12 were okay. There was a major switchback for about a mile and a half in each direction. I did get to see my friend about a mile ahead of me (same pace, but earlier corral). Although I still searched for the GF, I knew she was probably a couple miles behind me. We are headed down the road towards SeaWorld and it seemed like the time had just flown by. I wasn't really sure of where we were in relation to the parking lot and how everything was set up, I just stayed in the chutes and kept my legs turning over until I reached the finish line.
Around Mile 9, I had looked down at my watch and noticed that I was on pace for a PR...if I could sustain the speed I was at, I'd most definitly PR, so I forced myself not to look at my watch again until I crossed the finish line. Once I crossed the finish, I stopped my watch, took a few steps, grabbed a water, and finally looked down to find:
I had PR'ed and I didn't even try to! See what happens when you have no expectations! I was so excited and couldn't wait to tell the GF! Since she wouldn't cross for another hour I decided to stop and get ice for my hammy, I grabbed some fruit, met up with my friends, and grabbed my gear from the gear check. I had set up runner tracking for the GF so I'd know when to go look for her at the finish, so I pulled out my phone, and HOLY SH*T...she crossed the 10 mile mark 20 minutes ago!! She'd be finishing in about 20 minutes, so I changed my clothes really fast and headed over to the railing to hunt her down...and sure enough, about 10 minutes after I got there she came running by!! There was no way to find her until she came for her gear bag, so I just waited. And my phone chimed in, she finished with a final time of:
Holy crap, she kicked the sh*t out of this race!! So so proud of her. We shared a happy moment of "Hell yeah's" and of teary eyes for how well we both did! We proceeded over to get our free beers and rest our legs and eventually decided to head back to shower.
Post Race events coming soon!