Monday, April 12, 2010

Santa Cruz Half Marathon - Race Report (kind-of)

I say "kind-of" to this race report because really, I want Sarah to be able to tell her story.  After all, it was her race, and I was just there to support her and see her to the finish.  I don't want to ruin her first ever race report because she ROCKED it out there!

My weekend didn't start out as planned.  I had to stay at work late which caused me to miss my medium long run for the week.  I had worked 12 hours that day and by the time I got home I just wanted to go to bed!  So I decided to get up the next day, go to work and tackle the run when I got home again.  Maybe not the smartest idea when you have a half marathon the next day, but I had to get it done!  I worked until about 1pm on Saturday and by the time I got off the wind was blowing bad!  Like 30+ mph gusts!  There was no way I was going out there alone!  So the gym it was :(  Thankfully it was near empty and all I had to do was pick my treadmill and start running.

I decided to try and keep the pace conservative, but I just can't run that slow anymore.  So after 1.5 miles at an 8:11 pace, I ramped up the speed and cruised to 12 miles at a 7:30-7:45/mi pace.  It was HOT in there!  But I brought plenty of water, 2 GU's and just ran to my music.  But why is it, when I am the only one on the treadmills, with five EMPTY ones to each side of me, does the big fat guy always pick the one next to me?  Really dude?  The place is empty and you choose the treadmill next to me?  Is it for inspiration?  Is it to try and show me you're a badass at the gym on a Saturday afternoon like me?  Because your 350 pound ass sweating next to me, trying to run like me is NOT COOL!  Thankfully he only lasted about 20 mins and I got my space back.
12 miles 1:33:24  7:47/mi pace

I wasn't too spent when I was done so I headed home for a quick shower and then off to get my hair cut.  I would totally post a pic of the new "do" but my hairdresser went a little crazy with the scissors and cut off more than I would have wanted.  Oh well, it will grow.  It's not terrible, but it is SHORT!

Sunday I woke up in plenty of time to "take care of business," get dressed and pick up Sarah on time.  The wind was already bad, and they were predicting down pours all day with wind gusts of 30-40 mph.  The weather was not ideal for Sarah's first half mary, but when I picked her up she was excited and ready to tackle it!  When we got there, we had about an hour to hit up the potties and then get our race gear together.  It was already windy and the rain was threatening.
Waiting in line for the pottie :)

Sarah is in one of those! LOL!

Not sure if you can tell, but the ocean was choppy and had huge waves!  You can see the storm coming in! (Trying to look calm & collected)

Sorry it's blurry, but pre-race rockstar pose!

Sarah pre-race rockstar pose!

Pre-race and ready to go!!!

We had plenty of time to get to the start.  When the gun went off it took us about a minute to get to the front. It was packed, too!  The race starts right off with about a 1/4 mile uphill climb, the first of many.  You also get dumped right along the coast.  It was beautiful.  Thankfully, the pack was so thick at this point that the wind was still being blocked for us.  It was funny though, Sarah is a lot like me in that we are both sweaty runners.  And if I had been going at race pace I would have done the same as her - by mile 2, she was down to her sports bra :)  I was carrying everything like a good running sherpa.  I had both our gloves, her jacket and a whole bunch of other crap.  We kept a really good pace for the first few miles, right around the 9:45-10:00/mi pace.  Which is right where she wanted to be.  The wind though, once we hit the back of the course was awful and we were being blown to bits.  At about mile 4 or so, we hit our first big hill and she charged up it like a champ.  But right after this, you are thrown on to a dirt road that is covered in rocks.  It is hard to run on it, and I had worn my trail shoes just for this reason.  Also, the wind was relentless at this point.  We had slowed down a lot because we were out on the cliffs by the ocean with no protection.  She kept up like a champ though, and we kept moving.  When we finally got off the dirt road and back to the paved road, we were near mile 8 and she was tiring.  This was also another BIG hill.  I coached her up it, reminding her to look straight ahead, keep her torso straight and to pick up her knees.  The people around us liked the coaching too, and many of them said thanks for the advice.  She did great and we took a little jog break at the top.  This is a rolling hills point, too.  So this wasn't the last one.  We had about 3 more big hills after this and she did fantastic!  I was having so much fun keeping her on pace.  At one point to make her smile when she was feeling low, I played drill sarge and was yelling, "Run faster!"  It took the edge off and we all had a good laugh.

By mile 10 we were back on the road near the ocean and getting blown again.  It was brutal and the rain finally decided to start.  It was nasty and hard to run in.  Even I would have had a hard time at my own race pace out there.  She did get a charlie-horse in her hammy around mile 11 that I helped massage out.  But she was a rockstar and kept moving.  The last couple of miles were just brutal, just trying not to be blown over.  My hat even got blown off at this point!  You could also see the finish on the beach below us so that was good motivation.

By the time we rounded the final corner at mile 13 we saw Ari and Lilly waiting in the rain for us and we charged ahead.  The finish line is on the beach, which was my biggest gripe last year.  You're trying to sprint to the finish then you're stopped practically when you hit the sand.  But we charged ahead side by side.  Then though, a woman came from behind us with about 5 feet before the finish, PUSHED us apart and ran across the finish!  I was SO MAD!  What bad, bad sportsmanship!  I was pissed!  She ruined Sarah's finish - I can't wait for the finish photo's.  I went right up to that woman, told her she was a biotch and that it was bad sportsmanship.  Really lady?  Trust me, you weren't going to be making a big difference in your time!  You weren't going to win and you're time was crap anyway!  But Sarah brushed it off and found her B and hubbs and was so excited to finish. 

I didn't stay long as I had to get home and get some things done before going to work again and getting ready for Boston.  I am working all the way up until at least 5pm on Thursday and our plane leaves on Friday morning at 6am!  So I need all the time I can get to get ready.

I am so happy I got to run and pace Sarah.  It's a different experience in the 10:00/mi pace group.  It never thinned out, like NEVER!  People are more relaxed, something I don't have in the faster pace group.  It was fun, it was friendly and I enjoyed racing so much yesterday.  Thanks Sarah for letting me be apart of your first race - you are a ROCKSTAR!!  I'll leave Sarah to tell you her final time, she totally rocked it in that weather.  It was a hard day to race, but she finished strong and she should be proud!
We popped a Blue Moon beer together in the parking lot in the pouring rain :)  A well deserved beverage.  I also took a pic of the medal, it's cute but my pic is bad so maybe Sarah will get to show you.  Congrats Sarah you did awesome!!!

Today begins the start of my hell week and the final stretch to the end of tax season.  If I'm not commenting or posting much, my apologies in advance.  I have so much to do before Friday, with work and getting ready, that if I think about it too much my head starts spinning!  But congrats to all you peeps who raced this weekend and who rocked your long runs!  Good job!  I'm off to read a few before my day gets crazy!

Happy Monday and Happy Running peeps!
P.S.  I didn't hear from many of you on your results from the core challenge.  In fact, I only heard from one of you!  So PLEASE, if you would still like to a chance to win, I am extending the deadline to turn in your results until tomorrow, April 13 at 5pm Pacific time.  Please, please send me your results!  A box of Gu/Hammergel, etc is the prize!!!


Jill said...

Are we suppose to check in weekly? Eeks. Okay, I've been a faithful 50+/day damn stomach crunch girl from the day I signed up for this thing. I notice no changes in flab to fab in my core, though...even going to the gym 2-3 times a week doing core work. Too much body fat I guess...but it IS getting better, believe it or not, during taper week (cuz I'm being a good girl with the diet).

My gym is always busy when I go so I'm always the loser hopping next to Speedy Gonzolas who probably thinks I'm stalking him. Cuz I probably am. :)

Nice running there, girly! You are so going to run like a sub 3 hour in Boston and you'll no only be in wave 1 next year, you're going to be in the elite wave - woohoo!!



Totally forgot to send you that. I hit 50+ every day from March 12 (when I signed up) until April 10. And my abs look pretty much the same as before! Thanks for hosting!

Great job pacing Sarah! Can't wait to read her report!

Java Joggers said...

Great race report! I'll try to remember your coaching advice when doing hills...

Blue Moon... yummmmm

Java Joggers said...

Great race report! I'll try to remember your coaching advice when doing hills...

Blue Moon... yummmmm

Staci Dombroski said...

I would be so mad at that lady too!! That is awesome that you called her a b**** :) I hope you have a wonderful week!

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

Great recap of your support race! I am sure you got to exprience a different kind of race. I wish you would have had better weather.

Grrrr at the rude runner lady. Passing someone right at the end, boooooo!

Core challenge? If I signed up, I am so far behind I don't even remember. Unlike me (I always want to WIN!) Too many family things right now. I hope life will settle back into my normal routine soon! Sorry! Believe me, I needed a core challenge!

Ewa said...

Great report congrats on a good run. Weather last Sunday was terrible. My huge truck (yes, I still have one of those) was being blown in all directions on the highway. I can't imagine running in this weather.

Jamoosh said...

Good job on the pacing. Nothing like doing a race with a friend - it's a totally different experience.

Um, if I signed up for the core challenge you may put a big fat FAIL next to my name. I am ashamed...

ajh said...

Good job pacing your friend! Have fun in Boston!

Jo Lynn said...

The dirt portion of that race was my favorite part when I did it. I know, shocker!
I can't believe that woman did that at the end. Good for you, saying something to her. I'm curious how she responded.
You're such a good friend to do this race with Sarah. ;)

teacherwoman said...

Nice job with the pacing! You are a running friend everyone would love to have!

jamie @ sweatyhugs said...

First time posting here! I loved your recap of the race. I think it's wonderful you paced Sarah for her first HM! Major kudos to you! So exciting you are running Boston! I will def. be along in following your journey.

Jess said...

That is terrible of that woman who pushed her way through the two of you to the finish! Nice job giving her a "talking to" -- some people have to learn ettiquette the hard way.

Heather said...

". . . I just can't run that slow anymore." Tough problem to have, lady! :)

Sounds like you had a fun time with Sarah at the race - way to be a pacer/sherpa rockstar! Don't work too hard this week and try to get in some relaxing before your big Boston adventure! Oh, and the ab challenge? Just put me down as and F for fail. I'll try to send you my #'s if I can find them somewhere here . . . :)

Anne said...

Great race cool of you to pace Sarah :)

Anonymous said...

I know I emailed you- do I win for being on time?!? :)

Sounds like a fun race- and I love Sarah's rockstar pose!

Stephanie said...

I also reached all of the 50+/day crunches from the time I signed up (March 12)...such a good contest to make you focus on getting your core work in...thanks for the push! My abs are getting stronger, and I lost 6 lbs last week...crazy I know (I'm sure it's not just from the core workouts though)
I also ran my first half this past weekend...not as wonderful as yours and Sarah's sounds, but I will be posting my recap soon...

LPT said...

REALLY LADY?!? You should be ashamed of yourself.

Hahah. You're a rockstar pacer!

Anonymous said...

Generally, I don't publish on blogs, but I would like to say that this blog truly forced me to do so! Many thanks, really nice post.