Friday, February 19, 2010

v is for valentine

loVe: Kyle. Kermit. Kove swims. Kompression socks.
Very much do Not loVe: Running. Hills. Pollen. Pain.

Last Sunday I "raced" my first real running race. A half marathon. Yes, that's right. I've never done a stand alone 5k. I've never done a fun run. (Who runs for fun?) I've never paid to run. Wow.

So San Dieguito Half Marathon was the obvious choice. Hilly of course. I could've done Carlsbad, but this aligned with the training plan a little better, and it has hills. Why am I such a glutton for punishment? 11 weeks. That's why.

Day started out with oatmeal. And pink compression... it was Valentines Day. Like Beth, I am not a fan of the look but am of the way they make me feel and help with the running and recovery... significantly. They work for me. CEP compression. Check it out. We also now sell them at the shop.

Carpooled with Ian, Noko, Steve and Erin (Thanks Ian!); Kyle was finishing his duty day and wouldn't get off until after the start of the race. Made it to the park after a long hike up hill, and then down a big hill to the start line where Noko and I made it with a minute to spare. Coach gave me a race plan: stick with 9:00min/miles no matter if it was up or down. Ready, go.

It was hard. The only "easy" mile was the first. It was downhill and I had to hold back to stick with the plan. Nothing too memorable. Just hills and hard. Tried to keep the cadence going, watch the heel striking and not waste any energy. I ran with a bottle which was also my GU storage. One at mile 3, 6, and 9. Kyle showed up just as my water was out, so I chucked the bottle at him. By this time I was at the top of the last climb (besides the last 1/2 mile to the finish). My HR was out of control, but I had to hang on. Only 3 miles left. I found someone short with a good pace and just stuck on her feet. Literally. I was stride for stride and just inches behind her. We hit an aid station and she stopped to take a drink. I looked back and said "Let's go! You were helping me!" I was chugging along for a bit, but she overtook me and we started blazing past racers. Orange shirt girl, you kept me going!

Eventually all good things end. i.e. my pace going downhill. It ended on the horrendous uphill finish. I was hitting a wall and I knew it. I was on pace and I knew I just had to hold on for a little longer. Finish! 1:57 something. Garmin had he at 8:59min/miles. Overachiever. Average HR...get ready. 194bpm. OMG that hurt. The last 3 miles it was over 202. I started sneezing immediately. Everything was cramping, besides my calves. Somehow I had to walk back up that hill through the park to get to the car. Not cool. Hey, at least that part wasn't in the race. Kyle got me some Girl Scout Cookies on the way out and spared me some walking by retrieving the car.

Shout out to all my fast friends: Steve, Jake, Evan, Erin, Noko, Beth and all those TCSD'ers representing. Seriously I don't understand it. (running that is). Headed to work for more sneezing and misery. After work us girls had something planned for our men. Noko hosted a Valentines Red Dinner. Red food. Red clothes. and a Pinata. :) I made sangria. Yummy. Erin, Steve, Erin and Evan hanging out after din din. The Pinata fun. Spinning, Swinging, and Sillyness. The climbing helmet was brought out. Great conversation, great food, great friends. I've said it before, but they are the best. Thanks to coach Brian for believing in me, and helping me along the journey. I'm happy that I can make his job look easy...because this is hard for me.

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