Before the big trip to Asia, I was able to squeeze in three more races in January and February to get my fix. Here’s a quick recap of them.
Carlsbad Half Marathon
This is my second time running Carlsbad, and I consider it my first real half marathon since it is the first one I actually trained for. After several months of injuries, surgeries, and traveling, I was only really able to start training again at the very end of December. For this reason, I merely hoped to beat my time last year (1:48:46), though I’d originally wanted to PR on this fast course.
Of all the races I’ve run, this is one of my least favorite courses. Even though it’s beautiful along the coast, there’s something about the long stretches near the power plant on the way back that break me down every time. This time I was much more prepared for the course, and for the hills. People say this is a flat course, but they are grossly mistaken! Unfortunately for me, I’d been having some belly pains, and had to suffer through them for most of the race.
Other than that, I felt pretty decent through mile 8 or so, and was keeping a pretty solid pace. The 1:45 pacer was quite a few minutes behind me, and even though my watch said differently, I wondered if I had a chance to get under 1:45 for this race.
Once hitting the tight turn to get to State St. and Laguna, I was le tired. It was impossible to kick it in for the last mile and a half, and I just wanted to finish. It was getting hot, I felt dehydrated, and my body just wasn’t happy with me!
When I was about to turn the corner for the finish I was greeted by my lovely spectators with the following accessories.
I must say, I was very glad for that to be over, but I was pretty pleased with my finishing time of 1:45:18. The 1:45 pacer finished at least a full minute behind me though. Afterward, we enjoyed breakfast at our favorite spot – The Naked Café!
Cardiff Kook Run – 5K
Despite playing football through high school and college, running track in high school, and surfing for the last 4 years of his life, Zac hates running. Many of us were shocked when he agreed to run this 5K race with me on February 5th. It was the first annual Cardiff Kook Run on Super Bowl Sunday. Believe it or not, he actually enjoyed it!
We ran a pretty mild pace for a 5K as we navigated through throngs of families, strollers, and children, which is common for a 5K fun run. It was our first race together, and I’m hoping it means Zac will run with me at least a few times a week while we’re on our trip. Maybe one day I’ll get him up to a 10K! I checked out the results page, and it says he beat me by .04 seconds. OF COURSE!
San Dieguito Half Marathon
My final race in San Diego before the big adventure was a success. If you’ve ever run San Dieguito, you know how hilly this ridiculous course is. I ran the 5K once, and this was my second time running the half. Though I PR’d at the Rock and Roll last year, this course is actually my favorite one in San Diego. It’s challenging and interesting, just the way a race should be! Unfortunately, it’s grown quite a bit so they had to raise the price a lot, and no longer give out free beer and sangria. Instead we got some terrible tap water that tasted like it was possibly reclaimed…gross!
It all starts with an epic downhill. When I ran the 5K, I slipped on this part and skidded down. Not this time though. We started off pretty slow, running at least an 8:40 pace for the first mile or two. There’s a huge, never-ending hill right around mile 2, and it definitely wakes you up. The thing I learned about this course from last year is that you absolutely have to take advantage of the downhills. You’re automatically going to be running a slower pace on the epic uphills, so you’ve got to make up for it on the way down.
After the first huge hill you mostly deal with rolling waves of up and down. I felt great at mile 5, but not so great from 6-9, and I spent those three miles distracted. Suddenly I was at mile 10. Realizing I was probably within 30 seconds or so of beating my 2011 time, I decided to go all out for the last 5K.
There were some high school girls cheering us on our way down the huge hill, “TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE DOWN HILL, YOU GOT THIS,” and it made me feel like I was back in high school cross country. I definitely took advantage of the downhill, and probably ran the last three miles around a 7:20 pace. Even on the last hill I was able to stay strong, and I finished with 1:46:58, a full 9 seconds faster than last year!