When you are in the midst of your very first home remodel what is the smart thing to do? Why, go on vacation, of course! So that’s what I did. Ages ago my friend Lynn sent me a half serious message asking if I wanted to run the Carlsbad CA Half Marathon with her, and, since I always say yes when people ask me to run with them (probably because, until recently, it happened so rarely) I hopped online to register for the race. Fast forward to January and the time had come! Regardless of new job, or current home demolition project I hopped on a plane to San Diego. I have to say, I think I made the right decision because when I was landing I saw this:
After the bitter cold we’ve been experiencing here I was certainly ready for some sunshine. I made it a point to arrive a few days early in order to give myself time to get over the jet lag and to enjoy an extra few days in the sun. Best decision I’ve made recently!
Later that day I was rewarded with a spectacular sunset and an even prettier sunrise the next morning. Also, it should be noted: No Filter on these babies, this is all nature….
My trip to CA couldn’t be all sunsets and rainbows however. Race day had come and it was time to test myself against the 13.1 course. Lynn came up and joined me in the hotel the night before so that we could get an early start.
And, as we were en route I got this fantastic picture from the big guy himself:
The course could not have been more beautiful. We ran right along the ocean for most of it and the energy of the spectators was incredible. There were so many people cheering, volunteering, holding up funny signs and just generally supporting us that the first 7 miles flew by.
Starting around mile 9 I became very fatigued. The half marathon distance is still new to me as I have only run one prior to this. I am not going to lie, it’s taxing on my body and once I hit mile 9 or 10 things start hurting – hips, knees, feet….you get the picture. I also start asking myself why I’m doing this. Man, did I want to stop. Every time I went through a water station I had to fight the urge to just sit on the curb. For me races are really between my will power and the voice in my head that’s telling me to stop, that I can’t do this, that it’s too hard. It would be so easy to just give up, and many times I have wanted to but once I’m out there, I really don’t have a choice. It’s either keep putting one foot in front of the other or DNF (Do Not Finish) – if I don’t finish, I don’t get a medal! (Right now I really like getting the medals). I slowed down quite a bit at the end and at mile 11 I kept repeating to myself “just 2 more miles, you can run that in your sleep, in fact you may have on several occasions!” Finally, I hit the last downhill that marked the end of the race and I was so relieved. On the last .2 miles I ran past a man in a wheel chair who was heartily encouraging the bedraggled, hot, and weary runners. I nearly burst into tears at the sight of him. Here’s someone who can’t run and I’m complaining because something that I get to do for fun is kind of hard. That momentum carried me to the end and I got to reunite with Lynn. (And yes, I got my medal!)
One note here about something serious that happens during long races sometimes – chafing. It’s not pretty and it definitely hurts. If you are going to run any kind of distance I suggest you invest in some good compression shorts, tights or Body Glide. What I used on race day did not hold up under the heat and I was pretty miserable for the last 3 miles or so.
All in all I had a great time. This was a fairly easy course- couple challenging hills but nothing too major – and I couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather. Plus, I got to spend time with my friend and her lovely family. (Note: if you want to check out the race for next year here’s the link: http://www.carlsbadmarathon.com/ )
Until next time – Stay Classy San Diego…