So, if anyone lives in the Bay Area, then they know that today was CRAZY RAIN AND WIND. This did not stop me though as I trekked out at 5:15 to pick up a friend and drive to Santa Cruz. I, per usual, couldn’t sleep well, yet had INSANE energy this morning.
We got to Santa Cruz around 7 and met traffic for parking until 7:30. Did the usual pre-race routine and lined up right in time for the gun to go off at 8. The route is an out and back.
Mile 1-3.5 – hovered a 10 min/mile pace because I KNEW that one of my problems is burning out at the end. This route hugged the shore along with thee beautiful houses that line the water. Still packed together.
Mile 3.5 – 5 – still holding strong to the pace except I am using some energy to move around people who are were pacing a bit slower in front of me on a narrow paved trail which was wide for 3 people across. Slightly frustrating, but you win some and lose some. It was fine on the way back because we had spread apart by then.
Mile 5-8 – Hi, trail. I read reviews about this part and was surprised at how difficult it would be to NOT lose some time here. It was the most beautiful stretch of the race, but I found myself watching my footing the whole time as we were on a rocky trail. This put me at an 10:06 min/mile pace a little than half way. I was banking on pulling strong the way back.
Mile 8-10 – Lull in energy. Took a Gu around 7. Where are you gu?? I need ya! [yes, i think I was talking to the gu I just ate.. Good thing this was all in my head, along with some other %#*# words.] We head back on the paved trail mentioned above.
Mile 10-13 – WIND GALORE and major major pace killer. Like, I think my pace blew off the cliff at this point. Legs were feeling numb, wind was catching them sideways and it also started to rain. AHH.
[**It was during this time that I stopped at 12.65 and a girl grabbed my shoulder and said “Are you injured?” and I said “No” so she said “You got this – GO.” I found her at the end and thanked her.** ]
With the wind, trail, rain and congestion, I am surprised I was only 20 seconds slower than my PR.
Finishing at 2:13:26 @ a 10:12 min/mile pace.
Overall, I really loved this race. The views were beautiful and a part of me even loved the trail. There were slight rolling hills at some points. I knew this half was not a “PR” race, and the weather conditions nulled that idea too. Who knows…if that wind was nonexistent, all that energy would have been placed in throwing in some 9:30s. I had it in me – I was just fighting the forces that be 🙂 And to that girl who ushered my onwards, I appreciate it.
On a freakin’ amazing note, NO CRAMPING. I slowed my pace in the beginning, carried my Amphipod (life saver!), and kept an eye on breathing the whole time. So, if I can get a race with some ideal running weather and no cramping, then it seems I am on the verge of something awesome.
Sigh, I learn something new about myself each race. So cliche’. Heh.
Next half marathon – See Jane Run June 5th, but I have some fun races in between -> check ’em out. Gotta add the Sunset Races to the list.
And to those who wonder, I will now commence my dance party.