Saturday, March 2, 2013

San Diego Women's Half-Marathon

I did it!  I ran an entire half-marathon- without stopping. :)

And, man, did it hurt!  I cracked up when they sent out the final results because I averaged 11 min/mile for the first 10 miles, but the last 3 miles took me 14 minutes a piece.  Killer.

The night before the race, our team went out for a pasta dinner.  So fun!  I love carbo-loading. :)

We got to the race around 5:45am (for a 6:30 start time) and met up with our team.  It was pretty cold so we huddled near the VIP area that had heat lamps.

There weren't as many people as I thought there would be, which was actually pretty nice. We lined up in our corrals and they even did the national anthem.  (Side story: it has taken me years to get over the panic attacks that the national anthem used to induce in me.  When I was a synchronized swimmer, they always used to play the national anthem right before we competed in finals, and so for years I associated the song with staring down at the pool and feeling major fear and anxiety.  Even after I quit, I'd hear it at other sporting events and feel my stomach twist. Thank you half-marathon planners for bringing back that association.)

When the race started, I felt fantastic.  I was in new, awesome running clothes (the shirt had a pocket for my iphone complete with a little hole for the cord of my ear phones to come out and a little clasp at the back of the neck to hold the cord in place- so cool!), I had some cliff shot blocks in my pocket, and some good music going. 

The new running outfit- I'm a believer in the "technologically advanced fabrics" now.

I felt really strong for the first 6 miles.  I spent a lot of time thinking about how cool it was to feel good running 6 miles when I had started this journey feeling like crap after 1 mile. And when the results came in, I saw that I had beaten my 10k time from the turkey trot (1:09.25 down to 1:09.04) even though I still had another 7 miles to go!   

Mile 7 was when it started getting a little more challenging, but I still felt pretty good until around mile 10.  That was when the 2:30 pace group passed me, which was super discouraging, although the race time was not my goal.  I somehow kept running (although it wasn't pretty) and made my way to the finish line.  I got pretty choked up when I finished and got my medal- I'm such a crier.

I waddled (so much pain!) over to meet up with the rest of my team who all had great races as well. 

We went out to brunch to celebrate and then I took a really great nap. Dana, Vanessa, and I went and got our nails done later that afternoon to reward ourselves.  I only got 19 nails painted...

Then I got to take my friends to my favorite bakery in my 'hood.

I'm totally obsessed with this place- it's become a weekend morning ritual for me.  Love, love, love their bread, and they give you a cookie with your coffee!

So the question is, would I do the whole half-marathon thing again?  Answer: heck ya.  Dana and I actually just signed up for the Rock and Roll Half-Marathon in June.  Pretty much right when I finished the race, I started thinking how nice it would be to train for another half starting with the base I have now, as opposed to having no running base to start from, like I did for this race.  And I should probably try to run more than 8 miles before this race as well... ;)  So I'm excited to see how much better I can feel if I keep this up.  I felt so proud to run 13.1 miles, and I'm hoping it gets easier from here.