Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hill (hot) Chocolate 15k Race Recap

Today, I ran the Hot Chocolate 15k in San Diego with this girl, this girl, this girl, this girl, this girl, this girl and this dude.

I was nervous for several reasons:
1) I haven't raced since January.
2) I've increased my mileage a lot and ran a dang 20 miler Thursday.  (it's starting to get where running isn't fun, but that's another post).
3) I knew this was a very hilly course.  And while I pride myself at being decent at hills, I knew it would be a challenge.
3) I suck at logistics and the odds of me getting lost and ending up in Tijuana were at least 20%.

I woke up at the god awful time of 4:30 AM and drove down to San Diego to meet up with OUAL and Sweaty Emily who had my race packet.  They ran 11 miles before the race.  I am currently talking to a psychiatrist to find out if we need to get them committed.  Luckily I met up with them without a hitch and there were only about 2 minutes when I wondered if I'd driven to the wrong city.  I met up with the other girls in the corral where we snapped a few quick pics.
Emily, Nicole, ChaCha and Me
source - skinnyrunner
I figured that if I could keep the pace a bit over 7 minute miles, it would be ok, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit I had dreams of running sub-7 pace.

It was time to go, and we ominously started on a straight uphill.  My first mile split was a 7:05, and this was already demoralizing.  Usually I don't feel like I am already struggling at mile 1. The next two splits clicked off, and I ran through the 5k a bit under 22 minutes.  However, I was already feeling defeated.  This sounds ridiculous, but by mile 4, after I ran a 7:28 split, I was almost about to quit.  The constant uphill hurt and I looked down at my Garmin and was seeing 8:30 paces.  I was also getting passed by a number of girls.  

I told myself that maybe I could drop back and run with some of the girls I knew who were also running.  I also started getting irrationally angry and dramatic, as I often do in races.:
"WHY AM I WEARING COMPRESSION SOCKS?!?!? I AM NEVER WEARING COMPRESSION SOCKS AGAIN!!".  
"WHY DO I DO THIS?? I HATE RUNNING $^&@#$!!!!"


Luckily at the point when I was starting to lose all hope and faith in my running ability, a long downhill portion of the course appeared, and things seemed manageable again.  I passed a number of volunteers who cheered for my bunny ears (sorry if I didn't respond if you're reading this!!).  I passed the 10k and PR'd at something like 44:20, so that was cool.  

Around mile 8, there was a switchback where I saw SkinnyRunner.  We yelled loud and cheered each other on and even managed to high five!  It was hilarious because I was wearing the bunny ears and she was full-on in a tootsie roll costume.  I am sure the people around us on the course were like "Figures...the two crazy people in the race know each other."  After seeing her I knew I could kick it in, and even though I continued to get passed by people, my last mile was decent enough.  Here are the (very uneven) splits:


Official Time and Place:  1:06:15 (7:06 pace), 18th woman


And here is the elevation chart, with just a little bit of embellishment:


After I finished, I met up with the rest of the girls.  I was honestly confused at my time, because I haven't run this distance in 11 years and had no idea whether it was good or bad, or even what total pace I'd run.  We got our chocolate and fondue at the end, which honestly isn't exactly my cup of tea (after eating GU's and energy bars, the last thing I want is more sugar), but other people seem to like it.

I also thought Ram Racing put on a pretty seamless race and has figured out the problems that plagued them in DC.  My guess is that they put the race on such a hilly course for total logistical reasons and decided a hard course was worth it to have a lot of parking less trafficked roads.   So props to that Race Director dude I met a few weeks back.

Thoughts on my performance?  It was decent.  I think I'm slowly becoming a better runner.  I'd like to become a little more mentally strong and confident so that I'm not considering quitting a race at mile 4.5, but maybe that will come with time.

Overall, I had a fun time, it was good to get out there and race, and it was especially cool to have so many friends racing with me.

As I've mentioned before in previous posts, being able to get out there on a beautiful day and give a course what I've got makes me feel very thankful and lucky.  

23 comments:

  1. on my brief run uphill today into balboa park, I thanked God I wasn't healthy enough to run that race. And I think of quitting almost every race and every marathon I've sworn I'm never doing another. Nice to meet you!

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    1. Great to meet you as well! Yeah, I usually think of quitting as well, although a 9.3 mile race usually doesn't inspire so much drama in my head as this one did.

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  2. So are you running Carlsbad next weekend?

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    1. I am not =(. I'm sorry, I'll be traveling to sacramento that weekend. Definitely sad about it!

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  3. Replies
    1. concur 100%! When will there be a booze themed race???

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  4. I don't know, I think 1:06 on that course is pretty damn good. You'll be under 7:00 no problem on a flat course.

    So, your blog is not updating my google reader feed :( so I haven't seen a new post in like 2 weeks. Last one is March 10th. Not sure if this is happening for anyone else.

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    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence. So I know WHY it's not updating in people's feeds...I changed my URL from "blogspot" to a "www.fasterbunny.com". But I don't know how to fix it. Any ideas :)?

      Uh if anyone is reading this and wants their feed to update with new posts, please update for my new url (www.fasterbunny.com). Thanks!

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  5. just updated! thanks.

    way to kill it! everyone said it was maaaad hilly- so congratsssss!

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    1. Thanks for updating and thanks for the congrats!

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  6. Damn I have a long way to go to get under 7 min!! You are amazing!! I ran it too and it's refreshing to hear your take on it. I am a new runner, less than a year. I wrote up a short recap, and tried not to be whiny about the hills. Those hills were super tough for me. I see your point about a hilly course for parking logistics though. But to get people, especially new runners back, I would suggest trying to flatten it out if they can. I think that last hill around mile 7 was the killer for me and I ended up walking it along with everyone else! I wish I got a picture, but no one, but maybe a handful of toughies, ran that last hill! Chocolate was good though!! And it was fun.

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    1. Thanks for the nice words. Yeah that course was def hard :). I see your point about the new runners. We'll see what they do next year!

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  7. LOVE your posts, they always make me laugh (with you, with you). :) Nice job on that HILLY course. Sweet!

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    1. aw thanks! Made my day! Hah it's ok if you laugh at me too ;-).

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  8. Margs you dominated that crazy a$$ course. There were several times in that race where I thought I was going to have to slow down and then I would talk to someone close to me and it helped. I agree that this race made us all better runners- physically and mentally. You are one heck of a runner lady! So glad we got to hang! xo

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    1. it was great to see you too! Somehow it's nice to know I wasn't the only one struggling out there!

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  9. Congratulations on a fast time on a difficult course. Also getting 4th in your age group is pretty impresive in a race that large. Way to go Bunny!

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    1. Thank you :). I think all the fast 25-29 year olds stayed home!

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  10. Congrats on a great race and a very speedy time, especially given that elevation map! I loved your ears and I bet everyone else did too! I need to do a 15k so I can get an instant PR. :-)

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    1. Thanks lady! Yeah I liked the 15k distance overall. As for the ears - they get a lot of cheers and it's very motivating for me. :)

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  11. congrats on a GREAT race on a tuff course bunny!! :))

    love that you wear your ears to races. :)

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