Wednesday, June 26, 2013

City Impact Ventura Beach Half Marathon

I'm taking a break from Disney World recaps to bring you my most recent race recap!

On June 15th I ran the City Impact Ventura Beach Half Marathon.

It was a fairly small, out and back race along the Ventura beach path. They use a rolling start system instead of corrals and just asked that you start based on your expected finish time.  I planned on starting at 7:30, but wanted to get there around 6:30 to check in and get my bib.

When I first signed up for the race, I thought that Donny was going to be able to go with me, but he ended up with two different band rehearsals that day so I was going to try and be brave and go to my first race alone....

Yeah, that lasted all of 5 minutes before I got on the phone with my dad and begged him to take me. I wasn't going to be able to see my dad much on Father's Day, so I pitched it as him getting to spend more time with me... but he's awesome and was totally excited to go regardless...
We were at a wedding on Friday night and I ate way too heavily and didn't get enough sleep - so I was really trying to convince myself I would take it easy and just have fun at the race.  But even though my mind was saying one thing - my body was still totally nervous and stressed out so we ended up stopping twice on the drive for emergency potty breaks.

Besides those emergencies though - everything else for the pre-race went fairly smoothly.  We found free parking a couple blocks from the start and there wasn't any wait for check-in. They had a ton of snacks for the runners, and since I'd exploded out everything else I'd eaten that morning, I took a banana and some Powerade.

The first wave of the supposedly "slowest" runners took off at 7 am (they were starting the slower runners first with the faster people later) - but a lot of people were confused and it seemed like a much bigger group than what it should have been.  I was getting worried that there wouldn't be anybody else left by the time I planned to start, so I just decided to take off with the 7:15 group.

 Since it was such a small run and such a small group of runners at my start time - I felt a little ashamed to start walking on my normally scheduled walk break.  I decided to just skip my first break and go through until my second one.  But after about 15 minutes I just decided to see if I could run the whole race without walking.  I hadn't gone in with any big plan, the weather was so nice, I was feeling light (pre-race stomach explosions do have some benefits) - so I just figured I would see how long I could last.

I set a pretty slow pace and just kept telling myself, "you can keep this pace all day." The course was gorgeous which helped a lot.  The ocean was to my left and tall misty mountains were on my right and I just kept plugging along at a slow but steady rate.
mid race running photo - yeah, I'm cool like that
I got to the turnaround point and was still feeling really good. I turned my music on and had some really cool moments praising God for his creation and a body that could run and you know, all those endorphin-crazed, happy thoughts that come right before the crash.

But surprisingly - the crash never came.  I definitely felt tired and felt a couple hip and foot niggles here and there - but nothing overwhelming.

All in all it was really FUN race. And because I'd set the goal of just running the whole time, I didn't worry about the clock.  I knew it could very well be slower than my best times but I really wanted to accomplish the goal of no walking.

I ended up with a 2:23 which isn't my best, but also isn't my worst.  Which actually does say a lot about the run-walk method - my fastest races are one's where I have taken planned walk breaks.  But I also could have pushed myself a lot more.  I was worried that I would be too tempted to walk if I got really tired so I conserved a lot.

I think for my next half, I'm going to try to skip walk breaks again - but push a little harder.

I enjoyed the finish line festivities and the fact that it was still cool and overcast.  I was however, completely soaked in sweat... my dad was laughing because of how drenched I was.  I think it must have had something to do with the moisture in the air from the ocean because I wasn't overly hot...

I changed into dry clothes and we went in search of a good breakfast place.  We found a cute little cafe nearby and I consumed large amounts of coffee and omelet.
It was a great race and a great day with my daddy! I'll be in Seattle at my younger brother's college graduation next year during the race - but if I was home - I would definitely do it again!

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