Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon Recap

Howdy friends! I'm back from vacation and have a ton I want to share... so I'll chunk it out by days throughout this week. But since I also ran the Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon yesterday - let's start with that!

The race started at 7 AM and I had to pick up my bib beforehand so I wanted to be there by 6.  Which meant leaving our house at 5 which meant a 4:30 wake up call.  Not as bad as Tinker Bell... but still pretty darn early.  Extra brownie points to my awesome husband though - he got up with me, chauffered me to start, held my stuff while I peed, and then was my on-course photographer.  Yay Donny!

The only bummer about the start was the lack of porta potties.  I got in line at 6:40 for my last "nervous pee" and was next in line when the gun went off at 6:58! It's rare for a race to start on time... let alone 2 minutes early (while there's still a majority of the runners not in the corral)... come on!
the line is so long you can barely see the porta potties off in the distance!
 But it was fine - I peed real quick, kissed Donny goodbye and hoped into the back of the slowly moving group.  The 5k, 10k and half runners all started together - so for the first few minutes I was dodging around walkers, strollers and dogs - but it cleared up quickly.

I was super excited to see Monica from Run Eat Repeat on the course (she was way, way, way ahead of me). As we were leaving I saw her talking to a few ladies so I awkwardly introduced myself. Afterward Donny was like, "real smooth babe, real smooth." I said dumb stuff like "big fan!" and I talked too fast and was just overall a big loser-face.  oh well - I was still happy to meet her!
starting out feeling good
My goal was to run the first 5 miles around 10:20 min/miles, the next 4 miles right at 10 min/mile range and the last 4 at sub 10s. Ha! wishful thinking! I started great - the first 5 were about 10:15s... and then the hills started... I just couldn't get those miles down below a 10:10... and then slowly they started creeping up. I got at a 10:32, a 10:37 a 10:45.... etc. My legs just gave out on me. 

The race is billed as having "rolling hills" and I just didn't take it seriously enough. Rolling hills sounds innocent enough, right???
I'm just happy that it's over
But I'm not going to be too hard on myself because there's a lot of factors that went into this not being a PR type of race.  I've been on my feet a ton the last few days, I ate terribly on vacation, it was fairly warm - and then combine that with the hills - and my 2:26 doesn't really surprise me or even disappoint me really. 

One thing I did well though was my post-race recovery. I drank 2 bottles of water, half a Gatorade and ate a protein bar all within 30 minutes of finishing. As soon as I got home I took an ice bath.  Then I ate real food, stretched really good, and napped! And then the rest of the day was more of the same - eat. drink. stretch. repeat.
Eggy toast!

I'm also feeling like my body is adjusting better to the mileage.  After my first race my body HURT - like in a bad way.  I had bloody toes, raw arm pits, and possibly a stress fracture in my foot.  But today - after race #5, I've got some sore quads (from all the "rolling" downhills) but other than that - I feel completely normal.  So that's probably the most encouraging thing I'm walking away from this race with - the confidence that I am getting stronger, that my body can continue to do this, and that some day soon - I can push it a little further and finally go for the big 26.2!

Would I run this race again? Maybe.  The course was pretty, the race was easy to get to, the parking was free, and one of the most important factors for me - it wasn't on a Sunday.  But if I were to consider it again, I would definitely add in more hill training, and I would probably adjust my goals to reflect the added challenge of the course.

I have another half in three weeks which is definitely an easier, flatter course - so hopefully I can pull out some better numbers then.

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