Sunday, February 6, 2011

Anniversaries and PRs

Four years ago, in February 2007, Betty told me that a friend of hers, someone she knew from high school, was going to meet us for the a race we'd decided at the last minute to do. The race was called The Super Run. The friend was someone who'd we'd eventually nickname "Mik."
Mik and Betty - our first breakfast together. All I knew about Mik at this point is that she was super-sweet, friends with Betty, and a MUCH better runner than I was (and still is) because she had chosen to run a 10K that morning, a distance that I had never even considered running at that point!

and our first breakfast at World Famous...with mimosas of course. We had no idea then what this would all lead to. BTW...feel free to notice how I am a significantly larger person in this photo...
The other thing that happened at that morning's Super Run 5K is that I managed to run the entire race with no walk-breaks. I remember thinking as I'd came off of Fiesta Island, having run 2.5 miles, that I could possibly run the whole thing, then I knew that I probably could, then I knew that I definitely could.

I also remember being pretty surprised that even though I'd run the whole thing, it wasn't my fastest 5K...the knowledge of how and why that happened would come much later.

The other thing that happened that morning, is that we met a whole bunch of really nice people with funny shoe tags from the San Diego Track Club. So when we came up with the crazy idea to run a marathon later that summer (because OF COURSE IF YOU'VE RUN 3 MILES, YOU CAN RUN 26.2), we knew which training group we'd join.

The next year, In 2008 we ran the Super Run again that year because (as we found out) SDTC uses it as one of their training runs, only we HAD to run the 10K. At that time, it was the farthest I'd ever run and since it was my first 10K, I set a PR at 1:06:38...that PR has held for the last 3 years, mostly because I don't run many 10Ks. In 2009, I was hurt, so I didn't run the Super Run and last year I skipped it both because I was out of town and because I ran the Surf City 1/2 instead.

In 2008, I also started this blog (which made this January my third year blogoversary...which I sorta forgot about until I started writing this) so that's another anniversary as well.

2008 - Me and Clarence with Crown Point in the background!
2008 - Betty, Mik, Elsie, Alberta, Me and Clarence...and the mimosas.
2009 - I didn't run, but for some reason I was up at the butt-crack of dawn to transport the herd and to lend
So...the Super Run holds a pretty special place in running history for the herd and for me. It's our running anniversary, and it holds a couple of firsts. So I was SUPER excited to run in yesterday's race. I've been running strong. I was pretty sure I'd hit that three year old 10K PR out of the park, but you never know... Everyone in my family has had the flu the last two weeks except me, and I feel like I've been just stubbornly fighting it off myself.

We got to the race site in plenty of time and found our way to the SDTC tent to pick up our bibs, then we did a short warm-up run around the parking lot with Irene, Michael, Rich from the track club. As usual, around this time I lost Walter. I think he was busy talking about the SDSU Aztec Basketball team (23-1) with BBJ. He's not a great believer in warmup runs anyway.

Four years later...
Betty, Elsie and Irene's husband Michael, who was also our photographer. Don't let Betty's sleeveless garb fool you. She was COLD!

The Race Report
Miles 1-3
The start of the race was crowded (as usual) but we had a dedicated lane on SeaWorld Drive, so it wasn't too bad. I did a little bit of weaving in and out, but not too much. I felt pretty good. I probably took off a bit too fast, but as usual, the energy of the crowd and the fact that I hadn't run since Tuesday (long story, busy week, whatever) had me pretty wound up...that and the first two miles are pretty flat, around SeaWorld Drive and then through the SeaWorld parking lot.

I ran the first two miles by myself (mostly trying to keep pace with Irene, who I could see ahead of me), mostly making sure I was relaxed and trying to settle into my pace. At the mile markers, some kids were calling out times and it seemed like I was about 30 second to a minute behind the gun time. By about mile 2, Walter was beside me and BBJ zoomed past like the wind. I skipped the water/aid station at mile 2 and figured I'd just catch it at mile 4. The morning was cool, so I didn't feel the need.

In the third mile, we went up and over two bridges on Ingraham Street before dropping into crown point. We run over these bridges lots during the SDTC training runs, so I'm pretty used to them. For some reason, in Mile 3, they're pretty easy little hills.

Mile 1 - 9:34
Mile 2 - 9:28
Mile 3 - 9:34

Miles 4 - 6.2
Walter and I ran for the next couple of mile together, but I could tell by about the turnaround when he would pull ahead of me, I was working just a little too hard to catch up, so I let him go. I remember the last time I saw him look back to see if I was still there, I just waved and shoo'd him on.

The race is an out and back, so we went back over those bridges (you know the ones that seemed so easy on the way out?) again. Only this time the second bridge always looks incredibly big. This is the same bridge that runners go over in the Rock and Roll Marathon and I remember how extremely big it looked then too (BBJ noted the same thing). By the time I got back to the water station around Mile 4, I was ready for some water and I WISH I'd brought a Gu with me.

Irene's friend Rich, who used to be a personal trainer, chastised me a few weeks ago for not eating breakfast before running. So I've been making a better effort to eat something in the morning, but yesterday that something had been almost three hours short, I could feel myself running out of fuel, which affected my legs and energy level some, but my mental stage even more, so by  mile 5, which was again in the Seaworld parking lot, which is pretty boring, my mind just wandered. One time I looked down at my Garmin and saw 11:15, which is a fine pace for a long slow run for me, but not for a race.

So the last two miles were more of a struggle mentally than physically. By the time I got back on Seaworld Drive, I felt a little better, at least for the change in scenery. I knew I had a PR, but I wanted to see if I could just push it. I really wanted to feel like I'd given it all I know, the place where you get to the puke threshold, but you don't go over. That's what I did.

Mile 4 - 10:00
Mile 5 - 10:30 (boring, stupid parking lot)
Mile 6 - 10:05
Mile .3 - 8:58 (only a bit of weaving in and out added .10 to my total)

Both Garmin and Offical time say 1:01:55! Almost 5 minutes faster than three years ago and a 10K PR for me!

After the race, I did feel like hurling, but I didn't. I got an orange slice, and some water, and some kind of energy/recovery drink that tasted like yuk (but the electrolytes helped) and recovered.
Walter, post race wondering if it's time for breakfast yet...
BBJ - contemplating those hills
Original Heffers, Wilma, me and Betty. Wilma did the 5K
Wilma's walking partner, Stubbs with his chip timer...the official race dog.
After the race we returned to World Famous and Irene and her husband joined us. It was a wonderful morning with friends but I completely forgot to take any photos one we were there. I'm sure you take my word for it that it included mimosas (duh!)

As I left, it occurred to me that I'd never taken a photo of the OUTSIDE of World Famous, which sits right on the Boardwalk of Pacific Beach
The beach...a beautiful morning
I couldn't decide which photo to here's both.
When I got home, I fiddled around with Garmin Connect (is anyone else having problems syncing their 310XT since the upgrade?), but once I got my data uploaded and posted to Daily Mile, I commented that THIS is why I run...a beautiful morning, improving on my own performance, and breakfast with friends...

Happy Superbowl Sunday everyone, and contrats to all who ran at Surf City this morning, including Chris who BQ'd (woot) and Penny and Yaz and I'm sure others who I'm forgetting to mention!


  1. Congrats on the PR! Michael PRed too, even though he came in 27th out of 27 in his age group.

    I had a good laugh when Betty mentioned to her husband that it was an anniversary and he thought it was theirs.


  2. Nice going there and I love the walk down memory lane - seeing everyone IMPROVE over time - I think it must be the mimosas..

    Congrats on the PR - I HATE 10Ks so full kudos from me!

  3. Alice - a beautiful post. I don't think I've ever felt this much emotion when reading your blog - but you've captured this journey beautifully.

  4. WOW, isn't it great to have such special friends! Congrat's too on a super speedy race! WHOOT!

  5. Very very touching! I like to see how we have all changed so much just because of one small variable. It really was all started by the line "IF YOU CAN DO___ THEN YOU CAN____." It was one of the best path changes in my life. Cheers to your blogging Cindi! Keep it up you are a great writer.

  6. Great post Alice.....what an amazing journey full of sweat, laughter & friendship : ) so fun to look back, and look forward to the next adventure! Here's to our mimosa 4 yr. anniversary - may we all PR or just R on the next one!

  7. Thanks for the shoutout Alice, and your comment on my Blog. That is so cool that you have a running group. I run 5X per week all by myself :-( I don't mind, and am actually thinking of doing speed at the North Country SDTC on Tuesdays. I love the neon green shirts. Very subtle. Finally, and most importantly.....Go Aztecs.

  8. Nice even splits! Cool group. Run on!