Rock and Roll baby!
The San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon last weekend was SUCH a blast. I'm still riding on an adrenaline high from a weekend filled with running, sunshine, friends, and good food :-)
Let's start from the top.
Saturday morning we were up and hitting the road down to San Diego at 6 am. Why so early?
Well.... because I wanted to see her!:
The Rock 'n' Roll Expo was an amazing one in my opinion. They had all the samples I was hoping to get (haha Larabars, what what?), lots of new products to drool over, a great line-up of speakers (Ryan Hall in the afternoon!), not too crowded, and awesome tech shirt in the goody bag.
Because we were cheapos and didn't pay the $10 Expo parking, but instead parked at a San Diego street parking meter, we kinda had to breeze through the Expo, and I wasn't able to spend the kind of time I wanted to. Though I am thoroughly amazed at the Competitor group for putting on such a great race.... please make the Expo free to park.... esp since its Mandatory!
The rest of Saturday was spent catching up with our friends who live in San Diego. The weather was perfect. San Diego is such a pretty city!
Ate some food, ate some ice cream (hey, I need my carbs!) and went to bed. I know. We are boring. It's OK. ;)
Sunday morning: Race Day
3 am wake up call. Go through all the motions: food, lube, change, pray to dear god for a pre game dump. You know. The standard.
We drove to the Chargers Stadium at 4 AM to take the free shuttle to the starting line.
I was very impressed at how smoothly the morning went. The race organizers did a fantastic job providing plenty of parking spaces, and enough shuttles to the start line. We got to Balboa Park (the start) no problem, and had about an hour to eat some more food, stretch, yawn, people watch, you know, the standard :)
I was also impressed at how many porta-potties there were. You can never have enough of those ;-)
What impressed me the most though, was HOW AMAZINGLY ORGANIZED the start was. They had corrals separating runners by estimated finish times. And guess what? The corrals worked! Each corral began about 1-2 minutes after the corral before it. Not only did most people respect and follow the corral system, but the organizers really did an amazing job spacing them out enough.
After the clusterFU*K that was the LA Marathon, it was glorious to be able to run almost freely at this race, even with about 25,000 runners. Big props to the race organizers for delivering such a smooth start!
I went in with only two intentions:
Have fun, and finish.
That is how I was running the race until mile 6.5. Rocking out to the live bands along the way, enjoying the sights, people watching, talking with James, you know, the standard :)
And then at mile 6.5, I looked at my Garmin for the first time.
I could PR.....!!!!?????
I honestly couldn't believe how easily I had gotten to the halfway point.
Could I really....???!!!
That's when my one and only goal became:
Get a new PR!
I hauled some ass. There were lots of little ups and downs, and each little uphill made me feel like I was gonna hurl. But I kept trucking.
I even got lapped big time by the elite marathon runners who literally flew right by me, looking as calm as can be at mile 18 when I was struggling at mile 8. But I kept trucking. I couldn't even talk to James. But I kept trucking. I even saw a guy dressed as a turkey. WTF? But I kept trucking. All of a sudden we turn a corner and I saw the finish line. It seemed impossibly far. I feel like I am going to puke.
Of course, as it most often is, there is a climb towards the finish. Ugh. Why can't we finish at the BOTTOM of a hill, for once?
I literally feel like I am going to hurl any moment.
I sprint my little heart out across the finish line, take five steps, and collapse in the corner.
No puking, no diarrhea, and a new PR!
I beat my previous average pace record by three seconds. Not bad, not bad. Imaging what I could have gotten had I decided at mile 2 to PR instead of waiting till mile 6.5! :)
James' friends who also ran the race:
I am very pleased with my results. I can't wait to run another HM, and run that one with the intention of getting a PR to see how fast I can go!
But more than being impressed at my PR, I was extremely impressed by the Competitor Group for putting on such a great race. They really paid attention to details. For instance, before the race, we all received an on-line brochure with all the details for race day, which I found invaluable. The Expo was great, the corrals worked efficiently, the shuttles to and from Chargers Stadium worked seamlessly, the live bands were excellent, aid stations were well stocked, the gear check went smoothly (unlike the LA Marathon disaster), and they gave us enough food options at the finish line. I definitely give this race a grade of A!
If you ever have the chance to run a Rock 'n' Roll race, I highly recommend it!
Conclusion: Half Marathons are fun. I think I will stick to the 13.1 distance for now ;)
Have a nice humpday!