Sunday, August 29, 2010

I Do Love Fire...

To be more accurate... I love the End of Summer Fire Run. It's become somewhat of a heffer-tradition to run this end of summer event that starts at the foot of all the chi-chi shops on Girard and Prospect in La Jolla and ends at the PB Bar and Grill, which will always be Diego's to me. It's a little four mile jaunt...with a LOT of downhill.
So, in a completely appropriate ending to the crazy-ass weather of this summer, and after a really exciting morning of waking up late, some furious texting, and maybe the fastest drive to La Jolla ever, we gathered on a coolish and overcast, yet humid morning in La Jolla.

Alberta and Elsie - surely they are discussing race strategies
Betty and Walter examining her hairdo
Me and 1/2 of Walter (still working on that self-photo thing. Geez - I really suck at taking pictures of two)
About 2500 runners. When we ran this race for the first time three summers ago, I think it was less than 1/2 that. I know that there were two porta-potties at the start and for the bag check,  I handed my gear to someone in a Minivan.
I'd asked Walter before the race if he was going to try to see how fast he could run, or if he was going to take it easy. He said he just planned to run with me.

Now really...WTF does THAT means...does he think running with me is pushing it or taking it easy?


So I decided to just go all out. I even stopped at the second glass of wine at dinner last night. He should have seen that as a clue.

In any event, within moments of the above crowd photo being taken, and my last minute discovery that because my iPod Shuffle had a dead battery (how did THAT happen? I charged it last night...GAH!), and my switch over to the iPhone for music-motivation, someone must have said "go" and we were off.

Elsie and Alberta took off like someone was chasing them. I know that starting off too fast is trouble for me, and I wanted to have something at the end, so I settled into what I thought was a reasonable pace. Walter was beside me or slightly behind the whole way.

All I know is if this race gets any larger, they're going to have to close more than the south going lanes of La Jolla Blvd. I spent most of the race either running on the pylons or a little bit to the left of them, so that there was room as it was pretty crowded. For the most part, the crowd was polite. A guy with a double-wide stroller was cutting a pretty good path, and I thought about just following him, but he was running pretty fast, so I stayed back. I did almost trip over a dog, because his/her owner decided to go the the right of the pylon and the dog decided to go to the left and the leash decided to go through the pylon.

Sigh and ah well...

In any event, the morning was a bit muggy, but overcast and we pushed along.

Here's the mile by mile.

Mile 1 - 9:52 - I was thinking OMFG...that is FAST for me. This may not be a good thing)
Mile 2 - 9:36 - Still running strong, but waiting for the other shoe to drop...or my legs to fall off... Walter was still with me, so I clearly wasn't running fast enough to lose him, but I was hoping he was, at least, having to work to keep up with me.
Mile 3 - 9:46 - At 2.5 miles was the water station, and I just had to have a quick gulp, so we ran over to the end of it, I snatched a glass from in front of some guy, and took a couple of gulps, handed the last of it to Walter (he looked thirsty, but hadn't taken any water) and started up again. I told him that I thought we were running a pretty good pace and he nodded....
Mile 4 - 9:20 - The last mile of this race is my favorite, and today certainly illustrated why knowing the course is such an advantage. I knew when we turned from La Jolla Blvd on to Mission Blvd that there was only a 1/2 mile left, and that most of it is downhill, so even though I was breathing hard, I knew I could just suck it up and run in.

Unofficial finish 38:55 and PB for me and for Walter!

Walter and I high-fived (he was a sweaty mess). Elsie finished right after us, and Alberta (who has had a heck of a week including a car accident - she was rear-ended, and who ran the AFC 1/2 two weeks ago) and Betty finished just a bit after that.

We grabbed our t-shirts and decided that the line to get beer was just a bit too long. So we went to the High Dive for...yep, you guessed it...breakfast and mimosas.

This is Elsie and'll have to take my word for it. (grrrr no-flash on the iPhone)
Happy Heffers
Irene and Michael met us there and Irene posted photos on FB, which I have you can see from my mad photo skilz this morning, it was necessary.
The Herd
Good friends
Our photographer
After the race, I asked Walter if we'd run fast enough, and he gave me an enthusiastic "yes." Because I am a glutton for punishment, I asked if he could have run faster at the end.

His remark was something like "oh yeah...I could have sprinted at the end"

Huh? I WAS sprinting at the end!!!! (According to the Garmin, I ran the last 1/2 mile doing about a 8 to 8:30 pace)


Ah well... I really am very proud of him and of all of us for that matter. Everyone ran really great races and we had a fabulous morning. I have no doubt we'll do it again next year!


  1. What a great race! Love the pics! Everyone looks like they had a great time.
    Sweet on the PR!!!

  2. This is my favorite race- not too long- no hills- cool shirts and, most of all great friends to share it with: ) Gotta love our day glo green shirts!!

  3. So funny! Stopping at the 2nd glass of wine DOES mean business. Congrats on the PR!!!

  4. Great job on your four miler. WoooHooo!

  5. Betty says,

    Great run! Thanks for draggin me along. Great to see Michael and Irene and I'm glad Alberta took it easy - I enjoyed running the last mile with her.

  6. Nice PB! And love how you all celebrate after - good work!

  7. Mrs. Speedy! Nice splits. ;)

    I have no clue how my splits were since I forgot my Garmin. Thank goodness for that end stretch that just sort of takes you quickly to the end. I think I also did OK there, too. You did great and I'm so happy that you PRed! It was fun seeing most of the herd again -- it has been a while. Now I need to muster a blog post.

  8. Definitely sounds like you were "fired up" for this one. Nice job!

  9. Looksnlike I missed the party! Hope some of it is left for Shelter Island. It's great seeing your times getting better and better. You deserve it for being so patient through all the injuries last year. WTG Alice!