29 September 2011

Black Diamond Half Marathon Recap

Acting the part of a "half fanatic"!
Last Saturday night I went to bed around 10pm- I checked the weather report one last time and it said that the morning would provide perfect running weather with temps in the low 60's and a slightly overcast sky (and no rain!).  So when I woke up at 3:40am to the sound of my phone vibrating I was quite surprised to hear it pouring down rain and our power flickering on and off (the reason my phone was making noise)- I could hear the wind howling and it sounded really stormy outside!  I checked the weather report again and there was a weather advisory for the Black Diamond area which included high winds, rain and possible thunder and lightning!  I fell back into a sort of sleep for a couple more hours wondering if they canceled triathlons due to lightning and why I always seem to have dramatic weather when I run?
Niko and I on the bus ride to the race area.  I think that was his favorite part!
Making sure my shoes are just right!
When it was time to get ready I decided to make just one alteration in my running outfit- I switched from regular socks to my black CEP compression socks for the added warmth.  I knew that this race was more of a "no frills" kind of event so I wore a black tank top, my blue Skirt Sport running skirt, my tall socks, black hat and my Kinvara 2's on my feet.  We were out the door around 7am and arrived at the event area around 8:15 or so after a quick bus ride from the parking area to Nolte State Park.  We wandered around and watched the triathletes preparing and getting warmed up.  The weather was actually really pleasant at that time- the rain had stopped and the temperature was mild.  The wind was still blowing but overall the racing conditions were great! 
One of the triathlons getting ready to start
I wore my jacket right up until the last second and it was nice to toss it to Will right before our race began.  The first round of triathletes were sent off, then 5 minutes later the half marathon began.  The race director had verbally explained our race course (since there were multiple events happening at the same time) but I was completely unfamiliar with the area so he may as well have been speaking Japanese.  I was sure I would get lost at some point along the course (luckily I didn't- thank you volunteers)! 

The "race course" in words.  Not so helpful for me!
And we are off!  I can't seem to find me here- can you see me?
 I know I am there somewhere!!!  I was by that girl in orange...
I didn't really have a goal time in mind- considering I had run my first sub-2 literally 7 days earlier and my legs were still a bit sore from that effort I didn't really know what to expect from my performance.  I went out fast, probably too fast in hindsight but the pace felt good and I didn't want to get run over in the first mile so I just ran with the pace of those around me.  The first several miles were pretty fast, then all of a sudden it hit me- my energy level was plummeting and I found myself wanting to walk in mile 4.  Uh oh.  I ended up taking my gel and trying to walk out this horrible cramp in my side.  A group of 3 passed by me and one of the guys offered me a gel- great, I must have looked like death!  I told him I had just taken one but thanked him anyways.  My fuel kicked in and I was able to keep going at a decent pace for several more miles.

Mile 1- 8:21 -Went out fast, just running with the group!
Mile 2- 8:47 -Toned it down a bit, settled into a decent pace
Mile 3- 8:52 - Wondering if it is possible to finish under 2 hours again?
Mile 4- 8:29 - Feeling good still, passed the llama's for the first time
Mile 5- 9:36 -Uh oh, feeling dizzy and low energy with an added side cramp.  Took gel.

The course was interesting, mostly out along some rural roads.  We went up and down one side road twice- there was a llama farm down there so we passed by there 4 times!  On my last trip down there I took my second gel- I was a bit worried because I was not quite at 9 miles at that point.  I was going to have a rough final mile because I knew I would be needed some energy source but I hadn't brought anything else with me.  I was taking electrolytes at the water stations as well so I hoped that would be enough. 

Mile 6- 9:26 - just running, happy to be halfway!
Mile 7- 9:15 - the cramp subsided and feeling pretty good here
Mile 8- 9:29 - enjoying the scenery
Mile 9- 10:05 -energy level low again, walk a bit and take second gel.  give myself a pep talk.
Mile 10- 9:32 -I tell myself no more walking, just finish the race already!

Coming into the park just before the trail.  I barely remember running on grass!
As I entered back into the park for the final 1.5 miles I was completely worn out.  At that point there weren't any other runners near me and the course went along the lake on a very rocky and hilly trail.  Will and the kids saw me and said hi really quick and then I took off down the trail.  There would be no way to have a fast final mile in this race!  The footing was tricky, there were several twists and turns as well as lots of large rocks- at least it took my mind off how tired I was!  I was really happy when I crossed that finish line, that is for sure!   

Heading to the finish line
Mile 11- 9:24 -almost get my arm ripped off as I stretch and a red jeep zips by really fast.  yikes!
Mile 12- 9:41 -heading back into the park, say hi to the family, head along the trail
Mile 13- 10:11 -trying to be speedy in my last mile, but having a hard time with the terrain!

DONE!  Notice head to toe spandex girl behind me.
Finish line food!
This race was quite different from most others I have done.  It felt more like an "athletic" event than most do- the air was really competitive and there was more spandex in that park than I have ever seen before!  I only saw one other girl wearing a running skirt (it was black), however 2 girls were standing at the finish line when I crossed and they both commented to me how they really liked my skirt.  This was a speedy group- there were only 98 runners and half of them finished under 2 hours!  My stats were way better last weekend from the You Go Girl and there were 6 times as many runners!

Finish time- 2:02:07
Average pace- 9:19
Overall place- 55/98
Female place- 30/59
Female/age group place- 7/13

I felt pretty happy with that!  I kind of wanted to paint on my shirt that I had run a half marathon 7 days earlier or I would have run faster...but I just kept that to myself.  I was completely worn out after that race and my body was in some sort of rebellion- I just wanted to be home and sit on my couch with my feet up and my blankie!  Oh, and on the drive home the sky opened up and it absolutely poured down rain- glad that didn't happen while we were running! 
A well earned dinner at Johnny's Dock!
One more half marathon to go!  This Saturday (Oct. 1st) I will be running the North County Wine Run Half Marathon with my husband.  It is his first half ever and I will be running it with him which is really exciting.  Then I will be qualified to apply to become a half fanatic!!! 

1 comment:

  1. That's awesome. I run my first half Oct 30th. I'm super excited but so nervous. I haven't set a goal for it yet. Mostly because I don't want to be discouraged if I don't reach it. Any suggestions?