Sunday, January 18, 2015

Carlsbad Half Marathon 2015

Yahoo! A Race Report! An ACTUAL Race Report! I can't express the joy it gives me to be able to write about my experience at the Carlsbad Half Marathon 2015! Besides the fact that this was a spectacular event in general, it also marked a huge personal milestone for me.
January 10 marked 1 year since I went under the knife and had my Achilles Tendon repaired. For a while there I wasn't sure I would be able to walk normally, let alone run and today I ran 13.1 miles! It was amazing!
Night before the race, I made the trek to Carlsbad to visit the Expo and pick up my bib and goody bag. The Expo was located at the Westfield Shopping Center which was a really accessible area. It was easy to find a parking spot, an easy walk to the Expo, and the process of receiving your bib, goody bag and shirt was quick and painless.
I walked around the Expo for a while but the only booths that I was interested in were Nuun with their samples, and SnugBuds for their earbuds which I ended up purchasing. They are very comfortable with a nylon cord rather than the rubbery ones most have. I also purchased this cute tank from the Race Merch booth since it will take me until August to earn my crown. What a fun way to announce my endeavor!
I realized I'm just not into Clif Shotblocks or Gu shots anymore. I've just lost the taste for them. I didn't need clothes, hairbands, a running skirt, a spine assessment, etc. I would have liked to sample more supplements and such but oh well. It was pretty good overall.
On my way out I snapped this photo of the (obviously mobile) Finish Line. In a few hours I would be passing through that...God-willing!
My night before went really well. My husband took our two older boys to visit the grandparents so the house was really quiet. I was super tired for some reason so I found myself getting ready for bed around 7:30. I would have gone to bed then but I still had our littlest and he was not ready to go to bed. He came to cuddle in my bed around 8:30 though and we fell asleep. I had a weird dream that I was missing the start (my usual pre-race dream) and I woke up around 11:30. After that I woke up at 1:30, 3:00 and finally 5:00. My alarm was set for 5:15 so I just got up. I drank my cup of coffee and made up a bagel with almond butter and banana. I wanted to make sure I had a good BM before leaving the house because my drive would be around an hour with no where along with way!

It turned out with no traffic on the roads it only took me 35 minutes! I left early to make time for traffic and walking to the start, etc and it all went so easily that I ended up waiting around for a while. Better to wait around than to be running for the start at the last minute though IMO. I ended up using the Port-a-Pot 3 times before I felt "ready" ;)

It was pretty cold-probably 50 degrees so I tried to hang out in my sweats and fleece top as long as possible but I didn't want to get stuck in a line to check my bag so I headed over there at around 7:00. Of course, there was no line, but by going in there I discovered a lovely heated tent, free for all. So I checked my stuff (and made a mental note not to repeat Eugene Marathon 2013 and actually pick up said bag after the race). I hung out, stretched, and chatted with other runners before it was time to head back outside. The race had 7 waves, I was in Wave 4, the group with estimated finish times between 2:00-2:15. (The Marathon had started at 6:15 so we didn't have to fight for a spot with Marathoners-a really good idea by race organizers). The Star Spangled Banner was sang, the first 3 waves went off and then it was our turn. I programmed my Nike+ app, got everything ready and off I went! My main goal was to stay loose and not go out too fast.
Miles 1-3 were great. The course was hilly but I felt that I took the hills fairly easily and kept a relaxed pace. The course paralleled the beautiful Pacific Ocean along Carlsbad Beach. It was so beautiful. I passed Mile 4 and the leaders were already headed along the course on their way back to the finish!
Mile 5 I broke down and stopped to snap a couple of pics. It was so beautiful I couldn't resist! It also gave me a second to rip off the top to my race gel (some tropical kind that I can't remember the company name of...). The break was good and I got myself back out there. The thing I remember noticing though was that the 2:10 pacer had passed me when I stopped. I was hoping to break 2:10.
By Mile 6 I was really having to work. It wasn't easy at all. More hills kept coming and my body was getting tired. The race course participation was great though-so many wonderful volunteers with signs. Lots of great water stops, one Gu stop, a few with fruit along the tail end and a few bands too. Around Mile 9 my body was hurting. My joints and muscles were all painfully achy. I just did what I could to stay loose, grab water when it was available and I walked if I needed to. Ultimately I just wanted to finish!

And finish I did! Here were my official results:

Overall:3079 out of 6653
Women: 1411 out of 3940
F 30-34: 294 out of 702
Age/Grade: 49.51% Place: 3201
Finish: 2:13:33 Pace: 10:12
Chip Time:2:13:33
Gun Time:2:24:34
Once I passed through the finish area, I trudged along grabbing water, TruMoo(my fave), some Coconut water and a brown paper bag filled with lots of great snacks like granola, Larabars, Clif Bars, and pretzels. They also had fruit I think. I headed straight over to grab my checked bag, my legs killing me. Thankfully I had brought along a Biofreeze roller bottle and I rolled it all over my legs first thing. Then I packed some things up while eating and drinking. I don't usually stay for after-party events because I am usually too tired and uncomfortable. But I did want to stop and take a picture with a background to document the occasion.

After that I grabbed some free frozen yogurt and headed out. Traffic would be bad getting out of the parking lot and I was tired and wanted to sit. Once I got in the car I took a couple of selfies for good measure.

I called my husband to check in and made up a photo collage to send to him. I enjoyed the congratulations from my family. I know my husband knew how much this day meant to me.

I love the new bling! It will easily be one of my favorites!
As I was sitting I started feeling a little nauseous so I nibbled on the other half of my bagel, the pretzels, my apple and such until I was feeling a bit better. I had time to recover, it took me 45 minutes to get out of the parking lot! Note: If you ever run this race, park on the opposite end of the mall by 24 Hour Fitness and just suffer the longer walk before and after the race. You will save serious time getting out of the parking lot.

The rest is history! I was pretty achy for about 2 hours after the race but after that I was feeling good enough to register for the La Jolla Half and secure my spot in order to earn my Triple Crown. I still need to register for America's Finest City (August) too but I need to take it one pay period at a time!

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