Here's the short version of the race report
- Ran it (pretty consistent 12 mm pace throughout - 12:12 official)
- Finished it (2:39:55)
- Happy (I had moments of complete bliss that I was running)
- Sore (My hip...currently sore, but OK...the bottom of my right foot, that's another matter)
I'll have to tell stories about my and Betty's trip to the expo the day before the race. Suffice it to say that getting to the Carlsbad Mall required 5 U-Turns, 1 3-Point Turn, Crossing 5 traffic lanes in order to make a quick right when I was in the left hand turn lane, and traveling on several curvy roads. Let's just say that Betty doesn't travel in cars well to begin with. By the time we got to the expo, she looked like this:
No really, this is what happens when you move the iPhone when you try to take a self-portrait...
Yay! El Camino Real...We found it!!!At the expo, we did think the line of porta-potties in front of the start/finish lines would be a problem the next day (the start/finish lines were on wheels, and they were in different locations the next morning, but it still looked funny).
You know I like to exit a porta-potty to start a race with the best of 'em, but this is sorta ridiculous!I also let Betty get me convinced to let a chiropractor look at my feet. You know the guys,...the ones who look for the 40-year olds and tell them to have a good race, then ask if they run with any pain (who doesn't run with pain?)
Betty says: "She does."
He says: "Let's check your alignment. Take off your shoes."
Now I'm sure that there are endless combinations of pressure points on ones feet that a person could push to get your knees, or thighs or (watch it...I know where some of you are going with this) move...but I also know some people who SWEAR by their chiropractor, and since I'm a sucker for a foot rub, I let the guy look at my feet.
Really, nothing is more attractive than sitting straight legged on an exam table in a sports expo. Geez, I need to lose a few...
Race Day Notes
We got to the mall in pretty good time. Thanks to all my u-turns the previous day (and because I finally looked at a map of Carlsbad and not just the race instructions rather crappy instructions) I knew the back way into the mall...and we found the perfect parking place next to the handicapped spot (Thanks BBJ)!
It was massively crowded when we got there. And although you in other parts of the country will think we're nuts, it was a little cool for us So.Cal weather wusses, so we all wore sweatshirts and gloves....that would end up being a little bit of a problem later.
I didn't do much of a warmup, but we all did make a bee-line for the porta potties (It was about a 40 minute drive from La Mesa to Carlsbad, so we were all ready), but that's pretty much where we all lost each other for awhile. We lost Mik until after the race because she was best at spotting the place with the shortest lines (the corner...she is the clever kindergarten teacher, isn't she?) ...luckily most of us wore the exceptionally bright lime green shirts, so we spotted each other. I loved the moment when Betty stood on a planter and lifted her sweatshirt so that the neon-shirt could act as a beacon. I swear that's how I found her the first time.
I also decided, after using the porta potty, to go back to the car to store our sweatshirts and gear, rather than use the gear check, which could have been a mistake, because when I got back, Wave 1 was starting. I ran over the the start and (luckily once again) spotted Betty's shirt, but sadly lost BBJ, Alberta, and Mik (although they were in Wave 3 anyway).
Betty and me, before the run. Once again the dayglo lime-green shirts saved us as we got separated in the crowd and nearly lost each other.
Miles 1-2 - I got to run, for the very first time, with Betty wearing nothing but her sports bra as she decided to take off the white shirt she was wearing underneath the lime green shirt. We are running about a 12 minute mile pace. Hip feels OK, but I can tell immediately that I'm going to feel it all day. The question is "how much?"
Mile 3ish - I decided to stop and stretch my hip.
I hope I'm doing this right. This is one of the stretches that Vickie described to me.
Miles 3-4 - Feeling pretty good. Carlsbad is beautiful. Due to the lime green shirts, Penny spots us and we run with her for awhile. Hip is hanging in there. I actually have moments when I'm not thinking about it
Betty and Penny run backward for a bit so that we can get a shot with the ocean and pier in the background...
Miles 4 - 6 - Yay...GU!!!! They were handing out Gu!
There were a few bands playing along the way. The band at about Mile 5 is covering Van Morrison's "How Long Has This Been Going On" We were laughing at the poor lyric choice. We did enjoy running up a hill to the next band, but I can't remember the song.
Running/Dancing up the hill
Lots of Brightgroom photographers on the course. Many of them commented on the Neon-Green Shirts...I'm expecting PLENTY of face-time!
This was a pretty fun part of the race because we can see those who have already made the turn around and who are headed back. We spot Brian, who is cruising with the 1:50 pace group. In the distance we see Mik.
Miles 6 - 8 - Were all about the cowbell. Betty (mostly) and I pretended to be Christopher Walken ... much to the entertainment of those around us.
I suspect this get's posted after lots of races...but does it REALLY ever get old?
At the 10K mark, we ran over a timing mat, and when I checked my Garmin, I could see that there would be no PR today... I couldn't help but be a little disappointed, but really I was just happy to be running. For while I had that feeling of just utter bliss, at the day, at the run, at running with my friends, at the beautiful place in the world I was.
Miles 8-9 - I got separated from Betty for awhile a couple of times. I'd get ahead of her, then she'd get ahead of me. My hip and thigh were really started to bother me, so I stopped at about Mile 9 to stretch some more (not the lying down stretch I did earlier. I was mostly afraid that if I did that, I wouldn't get up!)
I thought I'd read that at Mile 9, there'd be more GU, but none were around when I went by. Luckily I brought one with me (just in case), so I sucked it down and felt a little better.
Mile 10 - The sun came out for a bit. Betty and I looked at each other and almost simultaneously said "F-ing Sun." I knew that Penny was going to be really pissed because she HATES the SUN. She was nearby, so we ran over to her and we all bitched about the sun coming out. Luckily, it went back into hiding pretty quickly.
Hip Report - still not feeling very good, but a good song comes on my iPod (8-mile Eminem. I'm not really a fan, but it's a great song to run to.), and I just put my head down and ran to the beat. I also began to suspect I was favoring my right side more than I thought I was, and as a result I a blister was forming on the outside of my right toe. I was surprised because I have really calloused feet and haven't had blister issues for 8 or 9 months. Maybe its the shoes.
Miles 11-13 - I was pretty much running out of gas and all of the muscles on the upper part of my left leg, especially my left-front-thigh are pretty tight. In fact, my thigh feels pretty much like someone is hitting it with a bat every time that my left foot hits the ground, but I run some, and I feel no shame in walking, especially down the last hill since running downhill hurts much more than running uphill. As I came to the last corner, I again, put my head down, find a good running song to finish to, and ran to the finish.
OMFG - Do I look done or what?
After Race Highlights
I was feeling a bit sad that I didn't manage to meet up with Yas or Lisa at the race. BUT as BBJ and I walked to the car, and I was telling him about it, I hear this voice shout out, "Alice?" and it was Yas. She spotted me in the lime-green neon shirt, so I got BBJ to take a picture of us.
What are the odds? Yas was driving out of the parking lot when she spotted me!
We learned today that you're supposed to leave your running shoes on for 40-50 minutes after running so that the capillaries in your feet don't expand and that way you won't have sore feet the day after a long run. I'd never heard this before. Betty decided to investigate.
We call them the man-dals. Betty will have to report on whether or not wearing a shoe or sandal mattered after running. Usually, taking off my shoes is the first thing I want to do when I get to the car!
We waited in the parking lot for a pretty long time after the race because it looked like gridlocked traffic everywhere. Finally, we left and managed to almost be the cause an bumper-bender when a really nice woman let us pull out in front of her so that we could go left. I had plenty of room, but she decided to give me a little and backed up into a car that was waaaaay to close to her to begin with. I was sooooo glad to get out of the lot unscathed!
We went to breakfast in Encinitas at one of our favorite breakfast places - It's a place called Honey's. They make great breakfasts, quickly. We were so hungry, I think we were in and out of there in less than 30 minutes...in other words, we just INHALED our breakfast.
Eileen (a friend of Betty's who was along for the ride. I wonder if she knew what she was getting into) and Betty
BBJ and Mik
Here's the rest of the crew's finish times. Everyone had a really excellent day.
BBJ - 1:59:30
Mik - 2:08:16
Betty - 2:41:32
Alberta - 2:20:45
Carlsbad is a great course. One built for PRs. I'd run it again next year in a heartbeat...maybe I'll even get one there next year.
(And, yes, I've had peas on my hip all afternoon!)