After yesterday’s race I am so thankful for an extra day off this weekend. I got to sleep in, go for an easy run, and have time to catch up on all the errands and chores that didn’t get done the past few days. It’s been a good Monday so far!
But back to the weekend…
Saturday morning started with sleeping in, an easy shake out run, and breakfast. After dropping the pups at my in-law’s we were on the road to San Diego! We took a freeway that I’d never been on before and like I said yesterday – the view was beautiful the entire drive.
Before we checked into the hotel we stopped by the race expo to pick up my bib. It was a pretty small expo so I figured that we would be in-and-out really quick but somehow we found ourselves in a conversation with a guy at The Stick tent for over an hour! He’s run 26 marathons and had a lot of great advice for the two courses I plan on running this year, Boston and St. George. I just love how friendly and helpful runners are!
There was also a table selling medal hangers. I’ve been wanting one for awhile now and I think I found the perfect one – Eat, Pray, Run… yup. That’s pretty much my life. Now just to find it cheaper online… haha
And a quick photo in front of the finish before heading to our hotel!
We checked into our hotel, lounged around for awhile, and then headed to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. The kitchen forgot my order but thankfully it got sorted out really quickly and I was able to get my carbo-loading on!
We arrived at the race a little later than I would have liked (45 minutes before the start time) so I jumped out of the car when Henri was still in the line to turn into the parking lot to start my warm-up. It was grey and chilly at the start – the perfect weather for racing!
A few weeks ago I applied to compete in the Elite category but since I’ve never run a 10 miler or half-marathon I didn’t have a qualifying time. But I was in the Corral 1 which was nice, no dodging people at the start for me!
Before I left work on Friday I talked to my boss/coach about my strategy for this race. I really wanted to be competitive and focus on placing well, since I honestly had no idea how to pace a 10 mile race. He has always told me that you control a race better from behind so he wanted me to go out easy for the first half, maintaining contact with other top girls and then start to push the pace after the turn around point around 5 miles.
I was really planning on sticking with this strategy but I ran into two problems… 1. They started the Elites about 3 minutes before the rest of us and those were the girls I was looking to compete with AND 2. I have a disease generally referred to as “I hate running behind people syndrome”. So when the gun went off I just started running!
The first half of the race went by quickly and felt relatively easy, I felt like I was out for a tempo run (but I knew that since it was longer than a tempo run it was going to get hard). My splits over the first 6 miles were pretty even – 5:57, 6:03, 6:07, 5:52, 5:59, & 5:58.
As soon as I hit the 6th mile marker I spotted one of the elite girls on the road ahead of me – close enough to pass! For the next half mile I worked on reeling her in – and even though things were starting to feel tough I was able to pass her a little before the 7th mile marker. Mile 7 in 6:09.
Then things really started to hurt. We were making our way back UP the hill that we had run down in mile 4 (when I ran 5:52), it was late in the race, and my legs were starting to feel heavy. I pushed through just by telling myself that once that mile was over it was two miles down-hill and flat to the finish! Mile 8 in 6:11 – the slowest of the race.
As I was cresting the last of the hill around mile 8 I spotted a second elite lady, and took advance of the downhill to really make a move. By 8 and a half miles I passed her and was starting to look forward to the finish! Mile 9 in 5:55.
The last mile was run around the Fairgrounds, mostly within earshot of the finish line. There weren’t many spectators on this part of the course which made it tough to kick it into a higher gear, but hearing all of that excitement at the finish line made me want to get there FASTER! I was really hurting at this point (I have the official race photos to prove it) and even though it was my fastest mile of the race – 5:51 I swear it felt like the longest!
10 miles in 60:37! New PR (first time running this distance), 6th woman overall, and first of those not starting with the elite group. It was a great morning!
Since it was an out and back course Henri only got pics of the last straight away. I will spare you the pictures from the front because the face I am making would haunt your dreams, but here are a few of the gems he did capture!
Me booking it the last few meters into the finish…
We didn’t stick around for the awards ceremony because it was pretty chilly out – but maybe I’ll be getting a little trophy in the mail sometime soon? Who knows?
All I do know is that breakfast at Snooze is what kept me going when the race got tough. And when we finally made it there, and waited the standard 45 minutes for a seat, it did not disappoint.
I treated myself to a cappuccino overflowing with foam…
… and scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns (the best I’ve ever had), and a cinnamon roll pancake.
It really hit the spot and Henri and I even tried to talk our waitress into opening a location in Orange County. We’ll see 🙂
Best breakfast spot you’ve EVER been to?
How do you treat yourself after a great race or hard week of training?