Race day was beautiful. It turned out to be just as I expected. No PR. But the bright side (because there is always one) is that I ran the entire race. After my long run attempts last weekend went so poorly, I'm very pleased with the fact that I never had to stop.
Ricky and I left the house a little after 6, and parked in one of the lots that offered shuttle service to the start. We met up with Eddie, Mark and Diana inside the expo tent near the start. Mark was pacing Diana, and Eddie and I were hoping to get 1:40 together. As the start time drew closer, I had to make one last stop at the porto potties. By the time I made it to the front of the line to pee, the race was about to start - I jumped out of the bathroom as soon as I finished and ran to meet Eddie who was waiting for me. We made our way up to Wave 1 and jumped in. A close call that normally would've left me feeling very anxious for the rest of the race.
We spent the first 3 miles weaving in and out of people, trying to maintain our pace. We logged the first few at around 7:30. Mile 3 takes you from PCH up onto Seapoint. There's a few up and down hills at this point, and I knew I couldn't keep the pace, but Eddie seemed like he was going strong. I told him to go ahead at mile 4 and he told me he'd see me again when I caught up to him - wishful thinking!
I knew I wasn't going to get back under an 8 minute pace, so I decided to use the run to practice taking in fuel and water. I tried out my FlipBelt last weekend, and it was too small and kept riding up, so I needed to return it. Because I didn't have a belt, I was just carrying a Honey Stinger Gel in my hand. At mile 5 I cracked it opened and took about half of it. I grabbed some water at the next stop and turned back onto PCH. This part of the race is really beautiful. The sun is at your back, you go into mile 6 with a nice downhill and then it flattens out for the next two miles. At mile 7, I took the rest of the gel and grabbed some more water before the turn around right after mile 8.
The rest of the race is sun in your face, brutal. I mentally broke down the rest of the run from mile 8 - 10, and mile 10 - 13. You hit mile 10 right before your uphill back up to Seapoint and the final 3 miles are flat to the finish. Crossing the finish line, I saw the clock at 1:51, but wasn't disappointed. I had successfully taken in fuel and water throughout the race without cramping. Official finish time was 1:48:31 with an average pace of 8:17. More than 6 minutes over my last finish time.
Once I made it through the finish line, grabbed my medal, water and goodie bag, I found Eddie, Diana and Mark. Diana PR'd at 1:42!!! So happy for her. Eddie's run didn't go as well as he hoped, and he finished about a minute ahead of me. I'd have to say this race would be so much better if they started it earlier. The weather on race day is normally clear and sunny, and the heat gets to you. Needless to say, this remains a not so favorite race of mine.
In the next few weeks, I'm going to focus on getting rest, listening to my body and continuing to log miles. This weekend will be my first run over 13 miles, and I want it to go well. I hope everyone else who ran the Surf City Marathon or Half had a great time!