Monday, December 12, 2011

Lucky. (Holiday Half Marathon Recap)

Just like this girl, this girl, this girl, this girl, and this girl, I ran the Holiday Half Marathon  on Sunday.

I drove up in my poor excuse for a car with Monica and Sarah.  Monica took pictures of me driving and Sarah played her 10th grade dance tunes.

We got to beautiful Pomona with an hour to spare and Danica showed us where bathrooms were without lines!  Well...ok...she showed Sarah and Monica where they were because I was frantically trying to find my race number.  My middle name is "prepared."   I also met Julie which was pretty sweet.

When it was about time to run, I literally jumped the fence to get in my "corral" and we got goin'.   

My fairly arbitrary goal was to keep up 7:20 miles for the race.  But...short of Fontana Days (most downhill course ever), I've never done this.   My expectations for keeping up a 7:20 on hillmageddon were slim to none.  

I tried to hold back in the first few miles.  I told myself that if miles 1-5 aren't easy, you're not running the race right.

Miles 1-5 weren't too bad.  I felt like I was trying, but not dying.  Miles 6-10 were...the time that I needed to concentrate and focus.  They were hilly, but I actually think this worked to my advantage.  I am at my worst as a runner when I'm bored, and this up and down, twisty, beautiful course definitely didn't allow for settling into a pace, cruising, and getting comfortable.

I ate a couple honey stingers at mile 6 and a Gu at mile 9.  Around this time, the SRLA kids (who had started about 15 minutes behind me) started passing me.
Holy cow, some of them are FAST!  

For the last bit of the race, I told myself to step lightly and quickly.  This was for two purposes:
1) To not waste energy and keep a quick stride
2) To try to avoid getting a stomach cramp
(It sorta worked - I only cramped up at the very end.)

At mile 12, I was still feeling good, and something amazing happened.  People started yelling at me stuff like "you're in 6th, go get the girl in front of you!".
Granted, they were counting incorrectly because I was in 10th, but, this was so cool.  
I've always wanted to be far up enough in a race so that people cheer you on as a competitor.  A contender.  I know it's silly, but in that moment, I felt like a freaking rock star.

You know what else made me feel like a rock star?
Running a time that I never truly thought I'd be capable of running.  Here are my Garmin splits:

My chip time was 1:35:50.  7:19 pace, 10th woman overall.

I finished, accidentally high-fived some guy who was really trying to high-five the person behind me, and cheered on Monica and Sarah.   We hung out, complained about the hills, and I stole sips off Sarah's delicious beer, because I forgot my dang ID.  (I'm almost 30!).  

Final Thoughts On The Race
Hold up y'all, I'm abouts to over-dramatize my hobby.  

This race was one of those magical races when I'm so happy to be a runner.  I ran this race at a pace that I never thought would be possible for me.  But...that's not all....I got to be passed by a bunch of talented high schoolers that hopefully are the future of the sport.  I got to hang out with two awesome girls who I'd never have known if I'd never read running blogs.  And I got to run in freaking Southern California in perfect weather to the backdrop of gorgeous mountains.  I am....ridiculously lucky.


  1. Congrats! Like you, the hills didn't really bother me and I felt like the stars aligned for a really great race where I sustained a pace I didn't think I could do (way slower than you, but still). I think if those rollers were through a boring residential or industrial area, I wouldn't have been as motivated.

    I'm pretty sure I saw you on the speedway.

  2. Very, very cool. Very. Congrats on such a speedy race :)

  3. LOVE IT, congrats!

    AND I would have NEVER doubted that you could keep up that pace. We are all seriously capable of stuff that we would never have thought was possible, as cheesy as that sounds.

  4. This is one of my favorite recaps, ever! Congrats on a great run! Your final thoughts made me smile and are super inspiring :)

  5. Here's another high five. Awesome time! Enjoy the feeling of a good race, it's the most natural high you can get.

    Congrats again!

  6. You are crazy fast! 7:19/mile is what I run for speed training. Wow!

  7. Congrats girl!! perfect pacing! :)

  8. Yay! Congratulations!!!!! And I love your graphic btw. So glad I got to meet you on Saturday! Look, I'm trying to be less shy. ;-)

  9. I'm hoping you were still kind of in shock or something after the race - why weren't you yelling and screaming and demanding Monica and I bow down to you and feed you your Starbucks by hand??? Girl I knew you had a KICK ASS race but I had no idea just how awesome it was. I'm bookmarking this recap so I can read it before races or when I'm in a run rut.

    ps I never properly thanked you for running me into the final stretch - it helped, I was hurting for sure :)

  10. Awesome job!! I had a race like that back in November and I was on a high for several days afterward. Bask in your accomplishment!

  11. You freaking rock! Can you seriously teach me how to pace a race perfectly like you do. Damit I am jealous! Nice job with the race (and flat course PR I'm assuming?) And 10th women. What, what did you win a prize? Age group prize anything?

    And for the record you definitely do not look 30. Maybe 21 but not 30.

    Got the shirt in the mail and can barely squeeze into it. The tightness should definitely help me set a PR! :)

  12. Hooray! Glad you had a great race and it was so much fun for you. :) Congrats on those fast splits too. It's a TOUGH course and it's nice to hear so many people killed it out there.

  13. Yeah, 7:19 for 13 miles is ridiculous. Holy fastness, Batman.

    And 10th is awesome! Did you get an AG place or were there too many fast late 20s women out there?

  14. I was second AG, get like a special medal. Medals aren't really my thing, so it wasn't anything I got super geeked up on :).

  15. Great job! What a race! You are are fast! You don't look 30 to me, I wouldn't have served you a beer with an ID either!

  16. WOW!!! So great on so many fronts! That's the kind of race report we all dream of writing. (And I agree, you don't look almost 30....but what does that look like any more?! Keep wearing the sunscreen so they'll still be saying that to you when you're my age. :^) )

  17. I was there....
    by that I mean far far behind you..but still!
    I loved that race!
    I got a PR!
    you are one fast...super fast gal!
    I admire that so much!

  18. Holy shit you're fast. Congrats!! My kid took 3rd in her AG and made us collect her medal. It's hanging up amongst her other AG awards. Jerk.

  19. Woohoo girl you are fast! Congrats to you and all the girls!

  20. Speedy!! Congrats on the awesome race! You deserve to feel like a rock star!

    And holy cow you're right... some of those SRLA kids were crazy fast! Like sprinting-up-hills fast.

    I wish I had run into you girls!

  21. Way to go on your race!!! You freaking rock!!! I love the picture you drew. It really made me laugh.

  22. Yes Yes YES!!!!! YOU KILLED IT!!!!! Wahoooooo!!! Congratulations friend, well freaking done!!!

    Those kids are the future. It is so awesome to watch them while they are still so young. A few years from now they will be flying. Crazy!