There are some really good pictures that Ari’s hubby Steve took of us while in SD that I want to share with you. Steve is an amazing photographer. Ari is not only lucky to have such a great husband, but he takes all of the pictures for her blog! He knows how to do the lighting and shadowing and everything you can imagine to make the pictures look perfect! So check out some of these:
Ari and I “running” to the expo
Ari and I at Coronado Beach soaking up some sun
After we got ready, and I got my Rockstar, we went to a little Italian restaurant in San Diego to meet the team for dinner. Susan, our coach, was there to greet us with her awesome smile and enthusiasm!
I ended up having a pasta with mushroom and tomato sauce with grilled pesto chicken, and Italian Wedding soup. Dinner was pretty good. As we were waiting for our dinner, Susan went around the table and gave us these sweet little motivational cards. Her training team is called “Believe Train Become,” so these were so perfect!
Each person’s card had a different quote inside. Mine was perfect! I have a pretty cool story, and I blog to share my journey with the world! I loved my card By about 7:30, we decided to head out so we could get to bed early. We swung by Nordstrom on the way back so I could get a bright colored running skirt, since I brought all grey and white. Oopsie! Not the best way to stand out in a crowd!
One more picture from dinner by Steve before I move on to the race:
Ari, Susan and I at dinner the night before the race
Now for the race. It was a beautiful morning in San Diego, and we got to see the sun rising from the starting line.
It definitely wasn’t cool by any means, but I never could’ve predicted, based on the weather at 5am, how much the weather was going to affect my race.
One thing I LOVE to see at races is lots of these:
There were two beautiful rows of porta potties at the starting line! I probably went to the bathroom about 4 or 5 times before the start just in case. It took no time to get into them either. SO great! You can tell a woman was involved in the planning
Here was my PaceTat that I wore to help guide me to my goal. More about that later….
Ari and I before the race. How cute are these blogger girls!! That is the purple skirt I got last minute the night before the race. LOVED it! I plan on buying more Nike Women’s Running Skirts at Sole Sports soon!
Our feet were ready! Ready to PR in our pink shoelaces!
I wasn’t able to take any pictures during the race. I was too nervous and too focused on my goal. I think my goal was way too ambitious for me at this point in my training, and in the hot, humid weather we experienced that day.
I wanted to run between a 2:05-2:15 if I couldn’t keep up with Ari the whole time. We started off at a fast pace for me, and kept it going for about the first 3-4 miles. There was a decent sized hill in the first 1-2 miles, so it was harder than expected to keep the pace. I pulled back from Ari at about mile 4, because I just couldn’t keep up a 9:00 pace any longer. I was already hot, and my legs were already complaining. I backed off to about a 10:00 pace and stopped to use the porta potty around mile 5. Through miles 6-8, I had a few “F%#& this! I don’t care about my time anymore, because this sucks!” moments, and took a few walk and stretch breaks. At this point, I knew that my goal of a 2:10, or even 2:15 half marathon was not going to happen.
Continuing on, I poured a few cups of water over my head and soaked myself, along with chugging quite a few cups. Thank GOD for the awesome volunteers at the race! Note to self: Do not drench yourself when wearing this kind of running skirt. It started to stick to my legs, and get on my nerves. I tucked the skirt up into itself so I was just wearing the spandex shorts underneath it. I actually really liked just wearing the shorts! I might have to but some of those, as well….
I somehow started to feel better during miles 8-11. I went through a period of Runner’s High, and though to myself “I am going to finish this thing so strong! I am going to kick that hill’s ass!”
Those were great miles.
Then came the hill.
So I’m running through more of a downtown area, and the road starts to incline. I started to turn the corner to the left, and I’m thinking “that wasn’t so bad,” then I saw what was around the corner. There were people and hill as far as my eyes could see. I know this sounds bad, but seeing that was such a mental blow to my confidence, that I totally psyched myself out. I took a walk break, and then ran/walked the whole rest of the hill. It was like a mile long!! Wow, was that a terrible thing to hit during the last few miles of a race!
After getting to the top of the hill, I turned the corner again, and ran into Susan, my running coach. She had already finished in like 1:26. Yup, wow. Wow! She is amazing isn’t she!? She ran with me until about mile 12.75 or so, encouraging me, and telling me that the heat was really affecting everyone. Even the elite runners were 5 minutes slower than their regular times. I told her I was miserable, and she said she knew. We were dealing with circumstances beyond our control. I took a walk break, and then she said, “ok, lets get going,” so I did. She told me I needed to drink Gatorade after the finish because I looked white. I had no idea I was dehydrated after all of the water and sports drink I had! She turned me loose to finish by myself, and I pulled the fastest sprint I could out of myself.
My legs were tight and my lower back hurt, which had never happened to me before. I got my medal, walked around, found Ari and Steve, got some Gatorade, and headed over to find our team.
I finished in 2:27:55, which was a PR for me. I was disappointed with my time, because it was SO much slower than I had hoped for; but Susan says to always be happy with a PR, no matter what! I learned that you always have to be flexible with your expectations come race day. You never know how you are going to feel, and how the conditions are going to affect your race. I also went out way too fast! I really wanted to keep up with Ari for as long as I could. I think I ended up, without knowing it, sabotaging my last several miles by wiping myself out at the beginning. It’s my own fault. You live and you learn, right!? I wonder what it would feel like to go into a race with absolutely no goals or expectations of myself? I think I might try to do that this fall after NYCM is over. Ari did a review of the race that addressed a lot of these issues, and did a great job writing it! I totally agree with the things she learned that she pointed out. Go check out her AFC Half Marathon Recap!
After the race, we took showers, checked out of the hotel, and went to brunch. I had a Lobster Egg White Omelet with some veggies, and potatoes. It totally hit the spot!
We got some really good cupcakes, then headed home.
It was a very hard race, but I learned a lot from it, (and set myself up to PR again on my next half!) Probably will be RNRAZ, a.k.a. PF Chang’s in January. Weather will be much better, and I will have finished a full marathon by then.
Stay tuned for more posts later this week! I am reviewing BIC Bands, and showing you some of the fun NYC Marathon stuff I’ve been checking out.