I finished! It’s done! Beautiful wonderful Rock n Roll San Diego ½ Marathon Recap. My first ever Half Marathon.
I drove down Saturday morning and picked up my best friend. We went to see an available apartment that I had found earlier in the week. I got my hopes up and chanted things like – “This is the perfect apartment!” “I have to live here!” all week. Turns out – it was a terrible apartment and I’m back at ground zero. I was disappointed for a minute but snapped out of with a Venti Iced Soy Chai in hand and my best friend in the passenger seat. We were already downtown, so we went to the Expo at the Convention Center to pick up my bib. Parking was $10 and ran very smoothly. We walked around for a little over an hour picking up free things and checking out the booths.
I wanted to get taped up by the KT Tape booth for my plantars fasciitis but the line was ridiculously lline. We walked around for almost an hour and the poor guy that was previously standing behind us in line hadn’t moved. Kaili broke her toe and had a giant boot on, so I wasn’t going to make her stand forever. I ended up buying a couple tubes of Nuun and some compression leg sleeves. Afterwards, we headed out Downtown for some last minute Salvation Army shopping. I bought bomb-ass roller blades for $3.25. THREE TWENTY FIVE. We ate lunch at Anthonys (standard) and then we went back to her house to be lazy and snuggle and watch the Women’s College World Series.
We went to bed early on Saturday and I set my alarm for an achingly early time of 3:00 a.m. I was nervous and anxious but I fell asleep ok. I got up in the morning to already brewed coffee (thank Jesus for timed brews), made my breakfast and tried to relax myself and enjoy the quiet of the morning.
I got ready, made sure I had everything and headed out the door around 3:55. The parking lot and shuttles started at 4:00 and the directions said that there was a chance the parking lot would be full eventually so I overprepared and was extra early. I was only about 10 minutes away, so I parked easily and walked straight on to the shuttle. My motion sickness didn’t fair well on the back of the bus but other than that and spilling water and shorting out my iPod, it was fine. I found the porta potties, checked my bag, and sat on the grass to stretch and people watch. Team in Training brought some serious weirdos to this race.
I was in Corral 31, and they were putting about 2 minutes between each corral. From when the gun went off (I was so far away I couldn’t even hear it, but I heard the cheering) we started an hour later. I took off around 7:20 and was actually able to settle into my pace pretty comfortably. The first couple miles are nice and through Balboa Park and Hillcrest . After mile 3.5 we split apart from the Full Marathoners, and ran up the 163 North. Unnoticeable in a car – the freeway is slanted something ridiculous. It was a little annoying and pretty ugly running through the freeway, but albeit a little cool because It’s still a familiar area to me. There’s a slight incline that caught me a little by surprise. I knew the 163 took a huge decline and I think I psyched myself out waiting for it. I struggled a little bit running the entire way up the hill and found myself getting a little mental. You know – the standard “Look at that person passing you, they look way faster than you.” Then the 2:45 pacer ran by and was yelling “We’re almost to the top of the hill and then you can coast down!” I don’t know why him saying it instead of me saying it to myself made a difference but I was able to kick it in to high gear and made it to the top of the hill in no time. I took a gel at mile 5 and then miles 5-11 are a little bit of a blur. I struggled through Mile 11, partially because it was much more crowded and then also just because I was anxious to be done. I got emotional a couple times at this point knowing that there wasn’t anyone waiting to cheer me on at the Finish Line. Selfish, I know.
I had to repeat to myself a couple times that this is a huge accomplishment. It wasn’t 26.2 but it sure as hell 13.1. It didn’t matter that I drove myself, sat by myself, ran by myself and would finish by myself. That was the best part – this was MY accomplishment and I was doing it for ME, not for anyone else. It helped keep me calm. Plus, crying while running leads to hyperventilating which is embarrassing so I avoided that situation altogether.
I had enough energy to cheer some people on and then sprint through the finish line, grab a bagel, some clementines, ice my knees and pick up my gear bag. The ride back to the car was easy and painless and I made it back to Kaili’s in one piece. Anticlimactic, I know. I was just relieved to be done.
My original goal was to run it in 2:45. I realized that wasn’t going to happen when Mr. TwoFortyFive Pacer passed me going up the 163 hill. My goal switched from “FINISH!” to under 3:00 with each step. I ended up finishing in 3:03. I’m not disappointed. I made it! Next one will be a PR for sure. I’m not sore, so I know I trained well, which means that I can do speedwork and strength training and now I can get FASTER (which isn't hard you guys, it's not like I can get SLOWER) haha.
For now, I’m resting. But, I’ll see you at CIM in December Mr. TwentySixPointTwo. And I’m going to finish you too.