Tuesday, February 16, 2010

San Dieguito Half Marathon Race Report


I woke up with legs of lead. How on earth was I going to run a half-marathon after riding 80 miles of hills and wind on Saturday ("80 for Haiti")? I felt trashed. I debated sleeping in...running a half marathon. Ugh. I hit the snooze. Several times. Sleeping in was winning by a landslide. But I was already signed up. I had paid my entry fee. A lot of my friends would be there. There would be aid stations. And, I had an Ironman coming up. The looming Ironman was enough to get me out of bed.

Thinking it would be cold, I pulled on a long-sleeved shirt and running tights and drove to the start, almost falling asleep behind the wheel while waiting in line to park. I finally found a place to mark and started jogging the mile to the start. I would be cutting it close. It was warm! No time to change now.

I reached the start and the gun went off. I couldn't believe how many people were racing. When I did San Dieguito 2 years ago, there were half as many people. I was a little frustrated, as the race wasn't chip-timed, and my watch read 1 minute faster than the "official" time. Oh, well. Training run, right?

My legs were tired and glycogen-depleted but I was pleasantly surprised at how easily I fell into a relaxed rhythm. Oh, wait. I like this! The temps rose sharply, and sweat beaded down my cheeks. I drank extra from the aid stations. My legs toiled up the hills in Rancho Santa Fe. I had forgotten how hilly the course was. Eventually, I was rewarded with long stretches of downhill. I focused on landing lightly on my toes and keeping my body relaxed. My IT band didn't hurt! My IT band didn't hurt! Did I tell you my IT band didn't hurt? YIPPEE!!! That was enough to make me run faster.

I enjoyed the Valentine's Day costumes (neon pink compression tights), a wonderful spectator dressed as the Queen of England, and a very hot guy dressed in native Hawaiin garb, complete with an ornate grass headdress, grass leggings, and a very sexy blue loin cloth. Luckily, I ran about the same pace so I drank in the pleasant scene for motivation whenever the going got tough. Spectators and runners quickly dubbed him "Grassy" and shouted out to him with delight as he passed.

I passed one of my rivals at mile 8. Not wanting to get passed back, I picked up the pace to put some distance between us. I passed another friend. Now I was going to have to put some distance on him! All of a sudden, I was racing. Oops! How did this happen? This was supposed to be a training run! Everything was going swimmingly until mile 12 when nature called. I saw a Port-a-Potty. 1 mile to go...nature calls. The debate wasn't long. Okay, Rachel. It's just a training run. Don't shit your pants. I dashed into the loo. When I re-emerged, I had to re-pass all the rivals I had passed earlier. With only a mile to go, I put some mustard on it. I flew across the finish, victorious. I had gotten in a solid training run, run the fatigue out of my legs, my IT band didn't hurt, and I felt strong. It was time for a hard-earned ice bath.


Wes said...

Don't shit your pants.

Oh that's classic... like HTFU! Nice job, Rach!

Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete said...

That always happens to me when I say that I'm not going to race. It is just a "training run." haha. Good job!

Unknown said...

Always a good idea not to sh*t your pants! (sorry not a swearing but it make me laugh outloud to read it!!)

The competitor always shows up even if you don't want it too!

Christi said...

Congrats on a great training run! You are going to rock your Ironman!

Andy said...

Good Advice to yourself @ mile 12!!! Funny. It is interesting how for all other races and general training activities there are things that could get me to bail out of a workout, but when I was training for my Ironman, it was either, "take the excuse and run with it..." or "you may not finish your Ironman if you don't do this workout..." Ironman usually won :) Have a great weekend!

Krista said...

Sounds like a great run - I love when it feels so good!