Wednesday, February 08, 2012

This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race

A Tale of Two Races.

Where did January go?  January is over and we're a week and a day into February. I posted here only once in January! That's so sad.  The blog fodder is in my head, but it doesn't magically appear here once I think it.

I ran in the Carlsbad Half Marathon on January 22, 2012!  It was an epic day because I didn't get sick at this run or run already sick!  Woohoo! I was so happy to run the entire thing in a healthy state, albeit slow.

Highlights from the Carlsbad Half Marathon/Marathon weekend:

A healthy carb load dinner - Hubs, Jill, Boy Scout, Meg, Tara, Marcia, Me.

Jill and Tara came in from Colorado, and Marcia just barely came in from Chicago in time for us to all meet for dinner.  I was so happy they all made it out here because several flights were cancelled or delayed.  It was so much fun to see everyone and it makes me want to travel to one of their races.

Carlsbad is my favorite half marathon race because it goes right along the coast.  We had partly cloudy skies and cool temperatures, which made for a nice run.  Since I constantly train on hills, the hills on the course didn't phase me too much, but I also realized that I need to get in more squats, lunges and longer, steeper hill in my training to take me through June of this year.  I can normally keep pace going up hills and pass people, but I slowed quite a bit going up a few of the hills in Carlsbad.

I have no mile to mile synopsis, other than getting to around mile 9 and realizing that I still felt good.  The first two times I ran Carlsbad the mile 9-ish marker was the point of  walking, only because I was sick or about to get sick.  Even though it was slow going, I ran the entire race without stopping for anything or anybody, not even a photo op.  I finished in 2:30: 45.  Definitely WAY far away from a PR, but certainly not my slowest.  Bonus points for not being escorted to the medical tent by a volunteer.

Here are a few photo highlights of race day:

Hubs and I up with Cindi and Jamie in the potty line.  Cindi passed on a potty line tip - go for the corner port-o-potties.  For whatever reason, those lines are shorter, but don't tell any body.  It's a secret.  *wink*

Jamie and Cindi (AKA Alice) in their trademark Heffer day-glo green, showing off their green arm sleeves.  ( I stole this photo from Cindi's blog.)
Cheese! Pre-Race with Penny!  The past thee Carlsbad Half Marathon races we've been able to find each other with no planning.  Amazing.  (I stole this photo from Penny off of Facebook)

I think this is somewhere around mile 4 going up hill. As for those sleeves, I received more comments about those Moeben sleeves at this race, even though I've worn them at several races. 
Hubs coming in to the finish.

Post race - Meg, Me, Jill, Tara, Marcia.  I totally matched my bib number and finisher's medal/ribbon. I was amazed and impressed that Jill, who ran the marathon, was still standing and looking fabulous.
Mary - The Running Green Girl met us at the race to cheer us on!
I know tons of photos were taken by track club friends, but I have no idea where those photos are, or if those have been posted anywhere.  Hubs and I also spent some time recouping post race with track club friends Bruce and Michelle, and if those photos ever surface, I'll post those.

Post race we thought about meeting the Heffers at the High Dive for post run cheers and eats, and we were also invited to Megs for post run eats, but by the time we left  the parking lot of the race area, all I wanted to do was go home and sleep.


My next race was the Super Run 10K, February 4, 2012, which coincides with Superbowl weekend.  I knew from the get go that it wasn't going to be a stellar race for myself.  My PR for a 10K is 55:19, and I knew I would be at least 5 or 6 minutes off of that time, especially when I'm doing my slow, non race mode training runs (6 miles) in about 1:06, and that's without going for speed and stopping for electrolytes or water.  We arrived at South Shores, next to Sea World at the butt crack of dawn to retrieve our race numbers and long sleeved race tech T shirts.  After plenty of time socializing, trips to the port-o-potty line, and the track club warm-up and stretch session, it was race time.  I was set to use music to ease into this run, but the random headphones I grabbed from home (when I couldn't find my regular ones) were not compatible with my iPhone, meaning: no running music for motivation.  I set my Garmin and we were off.  Within the first 50 feet my Garmin beeps and I get an error message that says something about laps being full and shuts off.  WTF? I just cleared it out.  I might have to do a reboot before I call tech support.  It was too late to use my iSmoothRun* phone app since I was already running.  I figured this was a chipped race, and I'd have an official race time that would be posted somewhere on the internet.  So I thought.

I felt so tired and sluggish for the entire race.  I could not find my groove or my happy pace.  I struggled and, for the first time ever, disliked running. *Gasp!*  My legs felt heavy and my breathing was labored.  I wanted it to be over. I tried to dig down deep and pull through by calling out to my friends, cheering them on, as I saw them run ahead of me near the turn-around at this out-and-back race.

I ran the whole race as best as I could, but I RAN.  There were walk/runners who were faster than I could go.  I crossed through the finish line as the clock clicked over to 1:06:00.  I figured my chip time would be somewhere  in the 1:05 range. Eh.  Not bad, but not stupendous, either.  By the time I finished the race the skies were clear blue, and it was another gorgeous Southern California day.

I was happy to be finished with the race, and met back at the post race expo area with a lot of my happy friends, most had PRs.  I fed off of their happiness because I've seen the progress my friends have made over the past 4 years, knowing where they've started and how far they've come.  It felt good to be around such awesomeness. 

Hubs, me, Cathie and her husband John.  Cathie WON her age group!
Hubs and I decided not to stick around to see who won the age group placements and official time postings, and joined the Heffers at the High Dive, since we missed joining them after the Carlsbad half. 

I was too lazy to get off of my butt, to walk a couple of hundred feet to my car to get my iPhone to take pictures at the High Dive.  I used Hub's iPhone instead. I'll be lucky to get those pictures off of his iPhone any time soon.  If I do, I'll post those somewhere.  Again, here 's a collage shot I'm stealing from Cindi's Facebook page:
Pre race and post race. Cheers! BTW, that's blogger Laura in the lower left hand picture on the right side.

The High Dive was rather busy with happy post racers and regulars, and we enjoyed our beers, mimosas, bloody Marys, and bloody beers.  Oh, we had breakfast foods, too. :)

Post High Dive, Hubs and I went home.  I got on the internet to look for our official finish times.  The race officials posted up to 1:01:56, and posted that these were "preliminary results."  A couple of days go by and there are no updated race results. I sent Kathy Loper Events an e-mail inquiring about my finish time.  I did receive a prompt response saying, "...we had some issues with our equipment and will repost as soon as we can.  We appreciate your patience."  Just peachy. It figures that it's the only race I've ever run blind (sans timepiece) and is my slowest race is the one they have issues at, and it's with time frame I ran in.  Sheesh.  Thanks KLE for making me feel even slower than I already felt that day.  As of right now, the race results have not been updated.  

It's so odd that I went from feeling great at the Carlsbad Half Marathon to feeling like a super slug at the Super Run 10K.  I've been feeling a little worn out and have decided to take a week off from anything running or working out.  Not all races can be on, and I completely get that.  Been there done that, been there done that.  It kind of helps that I have to work this weekend, which means I can't run with the track club on Saturday. I'm the kind of person who will show up for something if I've officially signed up for it or say I will be there. Give me a gold star for attendance. Having to work gives me an out.  It's not that I need an out,  I guess it makes me feel justified.  Aside from running, Hubs and I have been dealing with our rental house and preparing it for our new renter, who is already awesome and has offered to refinish the wood floors.  Our prior renter was a royal pain for many reasons, but it was mostly a case of major laziness on her part. Needless to say, both Hubs and I are exhausted from fixing the house and making repairs. Thank goodness for our son and his friends who offered to help paint.  

Now that the rental house is in order, I'll be able to blog more frequently... Well, at least more than once a month.  I'll go for twice a month. 

In my next blog post I'll be reviewing compression sleeves from 110%.

These even come with places to put ice packs!

Song from January 6, 2012:
Yesterday to Tomorrow -  Audioslave


*After a little research, I purchased the iSmoothRun app for my iPhone because I found the Nike+GPS app too glitchy, and I like having a backup to my Garmin.  So far, this app is idiot proof, except for when your Garmin craps out after the race has started and there's no time to restart the race...  Anyway, it's close to my beloved  but discontinued BiM app that I had two cell phones ago.


Jill said...

Hey girl....I've been waiting for your RR for a couple weeks now :).

I LOVE ya and always such a pleasure to get to see you. Wish we could have hung out more and chatted up a storm (btw, I saw Victor is back with Nikki - wth?!?!? Two weeks ago he was married to Sharon!). I couldn't wait to see you after the race and see how you did, totally made my day that we got to give each other a big celebratory hug (again, sorry I smelled so horribly!! Especially you know where - ha). You did fantastic and I am so happy for you!

Um, yeah, we all have those sluggish races and it's just nature's way of telling that it's time to take a break perhaps. You'll get it back again!

I'm for sure never doing the full Carlsbad Marathon but if I can swing it I'm definitely coming for the half. Or another race in SD, perhaps! Can't wait to see you again!

Keep being the awesome you you are! :)

Kyra said...

Good for you with the races, and don't sweat the missing time one. You show up, that counts for 110%!

I'll be interested to hear on the compression sleeves, although with my big legs I'd be unlikely to use them.. ahh well.

Good to see you blogging again! I am too! I missed it! ;) Go figure.

I Run for Fun said...

Congratulations on your races! A week off is a great idea...that always helps bounce back. I think it's great that you have so many friends you run with. That's the best part of being a runner, I think. Glad to see you are staying healthy.

Black Knight said...

You are a very nice group of runners. What about an alliance with the Black Knight Army? Beautiful report with great pictures, in every photo there are big smiles: this is the essence of running!
Congrats for both the races. Don't worry about the finishing time of the second, however you ran and however you spent a wonderful day of sport.

Tara said...

Hey you! Congrats on your race! I was far off from my PR too, but what a great day to spend running and seeing/meeting runner/blogger friends huh?
It was fun to meet you and your husband, wish we could have hung out more, it was so rush rush that day.

I took a week off running too, but now I'm slowly back at it.

Anne said...

Been awhile since I could guess the song title. Fall Out Boy!

I'm glad you had a good run in Carlsbad, even if it didn't repeat in Mission Bay. Maybe it's just me, but if it was my slowest time ever, I maybe wouldn't be so upset there's no official time :-)

It also reminds me of the old NYC Marathon, when only the first 10,000 finishers made it into the next day's New York Times. It lent an honor to those of us who stood no chance of earning money!

Aka Alice said...

We missed you this morning!

Also, I tagged you

(sorry about that :-))

Nitmos said...

Lots of running...lots of beer...lots of fun!

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