Ok, so it’s finally time to write out about the “big” day.
Set our alarms for nice and early wake up call of 5:30. I was really a bit nervous the night before that I wouldn’t sleep well (last half mary I kept waking up thinking I had missed it…) but this time I slept great! Heather and I had planned on taking the 6:15 bus to the start, but that didn’t happen… lol! We ended up out the door and on the bus by 6:45. It was cold (I know… I know… it’s So Cal~ it can’t be that cold…) so we grabbed a jacket to check at the start/finish line. I also thought it would be a good idea to grab hand warmers~ you know those bags that you shake up and the get warm? I had bought My Man a bunch for his stocking this Christmas so I grabbed a set. Kept us a bit warmer =)
Bus dropped us off right near the start. It was getting close to start time, so we headed over to check a bag (went very smoothly!) and picked up some safety pins~ there weren’t any in the bag…we missed them on the table… (again, bad expo…)
Got our place in line and got ready to start! I was pumped. Ready to go get my goal.
OH! One thing I forgot to mention~ I left my Auria Exceed Earphones at home~ I love these things and was SO bummed I left them. I heard they were going to be at the expo, searched hi and low for them, and couldn’t find them anywhere. So I ended up with a crummy pair from Target~ and I fought with them the entire time… something I’ll double-check next race!
Yesterday I mentioned how Dane Rauschenberg recommended a 9:15 pace for the first 5k, but after we crossed the timing mat, everyone took off! I kept looking down at my (borrowed) Garmin and realized I was going way to fast, and I needed to slow down! Times around 8:07 at some glances~ but I kept slowing down and probably kept it at 8:45-9:15 (sorry Dane, next time I’ll really try harder!!)
The race was an pretty straight shot~ with a slight detour through a neighborhood and then on to Bolsa Chica wetlands. I felt great through all of this~ I kept looking at the Garmin and finally had to tell myself NO MORE peeking till you get to the turn around point (8 miles) BUT~ that didn’t happen. The Garmin definitely helped keep me at my pace. I was amazed in the last 4 miles how at times I felt like I was doing great and would look down to see my pace was dropping.
As I had mentioned earlier, one of the things that BUGGED me the absolute most about the race was there were NO clocks out on the course. At about the 10 mile mark a lady was asking everyone, what time is it? Felt bad for her! I know had I not worn the Garmin I’d have been completely lost! Not sure if this is normal for Surf City (or for races in general) but it’s nice to see the time as you run past mile markers.
After hitting the 11 mile marker, I hit my mental breaking point. I kept having this mental argument with myself: “Come On, let’s just walk” “NO!” “UGH Just One Minute! It won’t hurt ya” “HECK NO! We are not walking! We’ve run 11 miles so far and not stopping now” This mental argument went on for the last couple miles of the race and got quite annoying! I did stop at one of the last water stops and as soon as I stopped I realized it was a bad decision. Hurt worse to stop running!
At one of my “breaking” points when I was just done, I saw the Running Skirts paparazzi, Jamie~ and I knew I couldn’t walk in front of him. He’s on a set of roller blades, and was skating next to me to shoot me for the video. This gave me a bit of an extra “umph” to keep going too =) I’m in their video a few times (this is always a running skirt perk at any race they run~ great photos!)
A few minutes after getting “shot” I again felt done, but who’s off to the side cheering? None other than my coach from TNT~ Dustin. Chatted with him for a sec and of course, couldn’t stop after that either!
I was in for the final stretch. Looked at my watch and realized I was really going to make my time! Saw the finish line up ahead and pushed it. Here’s where I think Dane’s advice helped. At LA R&R I had NOTHING left at the last .5/mile. Here I had it in me to really push it and gun it in. And I did!
I finished at 1:58:46 official time!
They funneled us through and passed everyone a bag full of post race goodies~ really organized and helped keep people moving through. With as unorganized as the day before was, I was surprised with how well-organized Race Day was. It was a well stocked race~ water and Vitalyte all over the place. They also offered “Sharkies” but I thought they were DISGUSTING so I opted for my Gu in my pocket.
All in all~ Race day was AWESOME! Now I gotta figure out how to fit in a few more this year… think I may have a new goal of 6 (or maybe 7 in 2011….kinda like the sound of that…)