It's very odd because I am starting to wake up way earlier on weekends than I even do for work. For example when we flew to Boston, our flight left at 6:15 a.m. Or this past weekend, for my exam I woke up at 6:00 a.m., and then for the La Jolla half marathon it was 4:00 a.m. I usually get up for work at 7:00 (I know, way late for most of you!).
Now, the interesting thing is, I leap out of bed when I have these races or flights. Why can I not for the life of me get out of bed and do the training first thing in the morning? It makes no sense. I KNOW i'm capable of stumbling around and being somewhat functional in the morning if I have to. The only reasoning I can come up with is that psychologically-I know I have the entire afternoon from 2:00-7:30 when the sun sets to do my training, so training in the a.m. is a bit harder to swallow.
My race report. I'll do it in "time segments" to make it easier to follow rather than one long paragraph =0.
4:05 a.m-alarm goes off, I seriously have to hold on to the bed to get to the bathroom, i'm really wobbly in the morning =0.
4:20-packing up my stuff (inhaler, banana, half bagel with jam and honey and water, and 4 shot bloks for the race)
4:45-driving to La Jolla-and in case any tourists are wondering or ever looking for parking in La Jolla, this is an excellent time of day to find parking =0
5:00-standing in line to catch the bus to Del Mar (we ran from Del Mar to La Jolla). Talked with a rather overly-freaked out woman from Scottsdale who immediately informed me that she and her husband were staying at the La Valencia hotel (she points to it) and is petrified she won't find her husband after the race because "in the New York marathon it took HOURS..I mean HOURS"......I gently reassured her that this race was teeny and maybe they could just meet in front of the hotel since it was within spitting distance.
5:30-on the bus to Del Mar, sitting next to a guy who was on my totally Deaf side and had a lisp and it was really dark on the bus, 'oh this is going to be a long ride,' I finally mentioned to said guy that I had a hearing loss because we were talking and I COMPLETELY missed that he was talking about his own Ironman Florida experience and I was like "so, have you done an Ironman." D'OHHH! He looked at me and goes "that's what i've been talking about." Ugh. I felt awful, however, felt better that he was totally nice and didn't mind at all, HE felt bad. I hate that, it's totally my responsibility to "clarify" and I didn't until a bit too late!
5:45-arrived at the Del Mar racetrack. I think I was probably the 50th person there....no porty potty lines and the weather wasn't cold at all. Took full advantage of no porty pottys and stole toilet paper for later..just in case they ran out (trust me, that happens!)
6:00-Found the overly-anxious Scottsdale woman and my lisping buddy from the bus in full swing conversation and talked with them for a bit with no communication problems =0
6:15-Found my two friends, Elaine and Stacy and hung out with them until the 7:30 start.
7:30-The race begins and I find myself just getting my legs loose and finding a good rhythm. Naturally, my heart rate sores immediately up to about 160 (which is slightly high for trying to find a rhythm the first three miles). I've been working on figuring out my pacing and working on my breathing to recognize how hard/little i'm pushing myself.
*I'll do the rest of the report in "miles."
Miles 1-3: Went by in a flash--they're slightly rolling and as soon as you hit the neighborhood of Del Mar, you're definitely climbing a bit. The whole race is either a gradual up-hill, hilly or really fast downhill.
Mile 4: It was getting *really* hot and I started to worry about my face which already had streaks of sweat, however, my legs felt great, but I was having a hard time keeping my heart rate below 170.
Mile 5: I can't even describe the first half mile of mile five, it's downhill, gorgeous stretch along the water right before you get to Torrey Pines grade. My heart rate was about 175, going DOWN hill, that's how hard I was pushing. Then, you hit Torrey Pines grade 400 foot climb in about a mile---you run uphill and even when you get to the top, you have a gradual incline for the next few miles of miles 6-9. Not hilly, it looks flat if you were driving it, but you are kind of on an incline.
Mile 6-9: These were the hardest for me, after Torrey Pines, my heart rate was really high, the heat had kicked in and I was having a hard time finding a rhythm again, so I kind of slowed a bit here. The highlight was seeing my friend Shannon!! She was like "wow, it's hot." I couldn't believe it! She did Ironman Arizona two weeks ago--in like 98 degree weather and here she was with sympathy for me in a half marathon! She made mile 9 a LOT more fun..and she even ran with me for a bit! Thanks Shan!
Mile 10: ALL down hill, very fast, kept my legs in check, didn't go out of control here.
Mile 11: On the boardwalk in La Jolla Shores, found a chick to pace me at an 8:00 minute pace for this mile and it was awesome.
Mile 12: All uphill through La Jolla until the last bit of the race is downhill right in La Jolla Cove which is a great finish..fast and downhill.
Place in Age Group: 15 out of 553
Place in Gender: 77 out of 2565
I was stoked. I know now if it's a reasonably flat race I could maintain around that pace, so knowing I had just maintained that pace on a really hilly course was really exciting to me!
My nutrition for this race was pretty spot on. I took full cups of water at every aid station and actually briefly paused to make sure I was drinking the cups and not dumping it all over my mouth. I knew it was really important to make sure I was hydrated and I was willing to lose a few seconds to ensure that I was taking in the H20. I also took in some the Gookinaid (WHY they still use this watered down crap in this race is beyond me. Someone in San Diego a long time invented Gookinaid, so I guess they feel they have to be loyal?? I think you can only find it at REI, it's gross, watery and tastes like watered down Robitussin)..however, remembering it had electrolytes, I gulped a few sips). I also dumped some water on me as well---stinks wearing a hearing aid in a race, I couldn't dump it on my head, but kept the rest of me wet! I took in four shot bloks, two at 45 minutes and then another 2 at 1:20. Probably could have benefited from some salt tablets, but I held out ok.
My legs are trashed....my thighs are sore to touch today as are my arms and back. It's one of those days where standing up from a chair or sitting down are a bit painful and going upstairs is not appreciated either =0. HOWEVER, NO knee pain, and that is awesome! Excited about that b/c of my prior issues!
No fast movements for a bit! Wow, that race hit me! Secretly: I kinda like this, it means I didn't leave much on the course, so for that, i'm thankful!
No time for sitting around though, we leave for Dave's brothers wedding on Thursday, so no days off for me. That's ok, I can use some time in the pool today and a ride for about 90 minutes =0. It'll hurt but hopefully if I take it easy I can use it as a long stretch session.
Thanks for reading!