La Jolla ½ Marathon April 27, 2009 My 3rd half marathon
The day started all good. I decided I wouldn't take the bus since I would have to get up 2 1/2 hours earlier. Hubbie said he would drive me and drop me off then he could go to a point on the route to watch me. Well, although we took into account traffic delays, we certainly didn't anticipate what we got. I had 40 min. to spare and I was just a mile away from the exit. Traffic stopped dead. OK not a big deal. It is 6:20 they want us there by 7 and the staging doesn't start til 7:10, Since I am slow I would be in wave 2 anyway so even 7:20 would be fine. That is an hour for a mile. Well I can run/walk faster than that. Well, that is probably what I should have done. We barely got off the freeway by 7, Still a little way to go we stayed put. Luckily, being a local we knew that there were 2 left hand turn lanes so we passed a good number of cars and got up to the turn easily. Still at a stand still and a lot of people were jumping out of cars and crossing to walk to the race start (which is at the fair grounds) I decided to do the same since now it is 7:10 and going no where fast. Jumped out of the car and began to walk to the start. Of course now I have to go to the bathroom. The lines were sooooo long still! Yup, I waited. Talking with a few in line, we decided that is was better to go now than to start the race and have to stop. Chip time was more important than gun time unless you are in it for the $. Who isn't, but being realistic I stayed in line. Still in line, gun went off, good news, the second wave didn't start. I got to go and get in line before the 2nd wave went off. Of course I was freezing (left my sweats in the car) and thirsty (forgot to bring water with me) Oops forgot my Goo too. Well, still have my Sport beans. AND WE'RE OFF.
Smooth sailing. Going at 11 min miles. That is a little slower than I wanted but it felt comfortable. At about mile 3, water break, and saw hubbie. Smiled for pictures and turned the corner to the first hill. Steep but short, not a problem, kept the pace. Once tackled that I knew it was clear sailing til the big hill. (Under statement) Ever see Torrey Pines Golf Course? Way up on that hill/cliff? Well, about a mile + all up hill. Hard, very hard. I was running, slowly, passing many walkers, feeling ok but tiring quickly. Thinking at each curve the summit will be there but knowing it really isn't. I overheard some saying that people that run the whole hill sometimes crash at the end of the race and it is better to just walk some of the hill. I thought about it. From my training, I know how hard it is to go down the steep incline when your legs are so tired from climbing so I decided to walk. I did. I had gotten about half way and walked to the water stop. Then I ran the rest. There were about 2 or 3 miles up high on the cliffs in the park and by the Golf Course. That is where Hubby was waiting for me. Oranges in hand. Nice and cool and juicy. Just the energy burst I needed. I was already at mile 8. Wow how fast the miles went by. Only 5 left. Easy. It was. About another mile down was my friend cheering me on. (Spark friend, Spring4fal!) I think it was the right decision to walk the uphill as much as I did. The down hill was just as hard and I still had my legs so I was able to just let the momentum take me down. It was great. Like running down a hill like a little kid! Fun and the view was amazing. Pacific Ocean as far as I could see. At the bottom I was at mile 10 --only three left!!! Woo hoo!! Plus, I had already run this part in a training run. Mile 11 all good, 2 more. It always seems like that 12 mile marker never comes. I don't know why. This time, when it did come it was a hill! Nice and long and hard. Why didn't I remember this from my training run? Oh ya, it was the just the 3rd mile on that run. Seems a lot harder when it is the 12th. But I did run it. All but a few steps, thought about stopping briefly and changed my mind. It was over now. I wasn't going to stop NOW! Then at the top it was all over. Down the cobble stone hill and around the corner to the crowds and the finish line. What an amazing finish. It was a blast! The ocean, the grass, the crowds, amazing. It made it all worth it. The only reason I would ever do this race again and conquer that massive hill is for the finish! It is absolutely amazing! I finished in 2:40:17. I was a little bummed. I thought sure 2:30 was in my cards but nope. Not this time. I know everyone says this is the slowest course because of all the hills. I know that the fact that I got a new PR on this course proves how much I have improved since January but I just thought I could do better.
After the race I met my husband at the finish line. We waited for Leah (Spring4fal) to get there. It actually took me less time to run to the finish than it took her to drive and find a parking space! When she got there we walked to a coffee shop in town and got some food and enjoyed the aftermath of the race. Another Spark friend (celia6191) met us there too! I just love the Spark support team. They mean the world to me. I felt sooooo much better after this race than the last. This is just another indication that my training is working. Next race AFC August 2009. Of course I will be at the RnR Marathon cheering my Spark friends on!!!