Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sue Kren 15K Race Report...and then some

Thanks to everyone who responded to my political "rant." I really appreciate all the comments. It heartens me to know that there are bunches of people who either agree with me, or at least are willing to listen to (what I hope was) a reasonable rant.

Mostly, in that rant, I just wanted to say that the whole economic situation is very complicated, and mostly it needs something more than the typical "unions = the worst thing EVER vs. taxes = no EFFING WAY will we pay more taxes no matter what gets cut" or "unions = God's gift to the world vs. taxes = OMG YES, tax the wealthy into oblivion because the bastards deserve it!" type rhetoric that is so common right now.  I just think that these are complex problems. Unions are neither all bad, nor are they all good, but they do serve a useful purpose in our society and yes, I believe public employees have the right to form them. I also think that taxes are neither all bad, nor are they all good. They too serve a useful purpose in paying for services that most of us want and enjoy, and the vast majority of those services are provided by people.

Most of all...conversations about how to fix our complex problems require and deserve respectful talk. It's that lack of respectful talk that really gets to me.

But I know this is (mostly) a running and mimosa blog and I plan to keep it that way, so that's all I have to say (on this blog) about that!

Anyway let's move onto the really important topic of running and mimosas because I do have this to report...

Sue Kren 15K = WIN - Both a PR AND Mimosas!!!! WOOT!

But Saturday's run didn't start off so well. It started off with me oversleeping. I was supposed to be at Betty's house at when I woke up at 5:33, the first words out of my mouth were?

F. F. F.

Betty, who'd had a really, ridiculous week at work, emerged from what I assume was a dead-to-the-world-sleep to let us know that she was going to pass on the run. So Mik and I drove to East Mission Bay Park, found some parking, made our way to the start, picked up bibs, met up with Elsie who met us there...and I have no idea what else we did because before we knew it, it was 5 minutes to the start and I still had to...

1. pee
2. warmup

WTF did we do with 40 minutes? I have no idea.

Mik and I waited in some PP lines...did our business and then proceded to our warmup, which was a run to the start line...cuz then the race started...and we were OFF!
H,ere's a course map. You know how I usually embed a link to GarminConnect (ok...maybe you don't, but usually I do...); However, today you get a .jpg screen shot. Here's why: see that really sharp turn that looks like I took an immediate left and flew east? Yeah..I didn't fly, but I did accidentally hit the "start timer" button on my Garmin for a nano-second when I got home...And despite my best efforts, I cannot edit my run on Garmin Connect to delete that nanosecond, so here's a close up screen shot of just the loop around Fiesta Island and along East Mission Bay Drive... Please ignore the flight home.
The Sue Kren 15K starts on East Mission Bay Drive and then a loop around San Diego's Fiesta Island...which is such a happy name for what is really a pretty boring place to run. However, it is relatively flat (some rolling hills, but nothing too difficult), and does offer some nice views of the rest of the bay. Sometimes the back side if the island can be pretty windy, which is much bigger deal when you're riding a bike, but was relatively calm on Saturday and oh, by the way, there are typically LOTS of cyclists, although there weren't too many on Saturday, but there were a few. Of special note were a couple of cyclists, who must not have noticed or chose to ignore all the "there's a race going on today" signs and who therefore probably ended up having a pretty frustrating ride because they had to share the island with about 500 runners.  I saw one of them get really angry with a runner who was clearly running the inside tangent, but who didn't really hear (or didn't care to hear) him yelling at her to move so that he could pass on her left.

I know this woman because she is in the track club. I think she's in her 70's, maybe 80's, and she is a MONSTER runner in our track workouts. I'm pretty sure she regularly wins her age group in 5Ks and shorter races. I know she just kicks my ass when we start doing 800 repeats. I don't know if she heard the cyclist or not, but I prefer to think she was just thinking "Sonny, I'm 80 years old and I have the inside lane're just going to have to go around me."...because if I'm still running when I'm 80, that's what I'll be thinking!

The best think about Saturday's run was unlike last weekend's Rain Run, Saturday morning was BEE-U-TI-FUL. It was a little cool at before the start, so all three of us were all wearing our long sleeve neon-day-glo-green running day shirts, but after about a mile, I had taken off my long sleeve shirt because it was getting warm. Mik, Elsie and I started the race together, then about 3/4 of a mile into the run, Mik took off (our 10:30 pace was just a tad slow for her), and about 3 miles in (at the first aid station), Elsie slowed up and let me go on without her. After Elsie and I parted, I spent the next two miles trying to catch up with Irene's hubby Michael, who was just tearing it up. I finally caught up with him as we exited the island. At that point (about mile 5), I was relaxed and strong. I knew I hadn't been pushing it, yet my time was pretty good.

Mile 1 - 10:31
Mile 2 - 10:14
Mile 3 - 10:29
Mile 4 - 10:41
Mile 5 - 10:20

Once we got off the island, my tune changed a bit because the course changed from the lovely asphalt (and who besides a runner LOVES asphalt?) to a concrete walking path which made the second 1/2 of the race just stressful. All I could think of was how much pain I'd be in the next day because of the concrete (truth is, today, I don't feel so bad).

As I passed the 6 mile marker, I could see the race leaders cross the finish line (always a little bit of a demoralizing moment), but because I didn't feel so bad, this year it wasn't as depressing.

The other great part about the second part of the race is that after mile 6, I got to see all my speedy friends who had already made the turn-around and were headed back. It gave me an opportunity to wave them on, and say "looking good" and stuff like that...It must have also motivated me to run faster because my splits weren't to bad for a couple miles.

Mile 6 - 10:09
Mile 7 - 10:03

But then concrete stress settled in. About mile 7.5, I saw Coach Paul, who took one look at me and shouted "relax your shoulders!" Boy was he right. I spend the rest of the race saying those words to myself...and darn if it doesn't work!

Mile 8 - (10:41)
Mile 9 - (10:14)
Mile 9-9.48 - (9:57) I must have added a little extra milage, probably around Fiesta Island because I was NOT on the inside lane...

Official finish time 1:37:42 (10:29) - PR! (WOOT!)

A 15K is a funny race distance to's not really a "go all out" 5K kind of thing" or even a "try to keep close to your 5K pace in a 10K" sort of effort either. It's closer to a 1/2 marathon really, in that, for me, it was really important to just go out easy and relax. Also, the course, while flat, is deceptively difficult. When running on the concrete walking path, there are lots of tourists to dodge in and out of, people walking dogs, moms and dad with strollers, the occasional run-away frisbee... All those "distractions" are both a godsend and a curse. They make for an entertaining run, but they also add to the stress level.

After the race we went to The High Dive with Irene's Michael (Irene had to work and even though, as her pretend doctor-friend, I told her that I thought she was coming down with a cold, but she went to work like a responsible person anyway) and another guy named Bill. I'm not sure where he came from, but Michael seemed to know him, and we were happy to have him along. He's an engineer for Qualcomm and was VERY ENGINEER-LIKE (anyone who is related to, or has engineer friends knows what I am talking about...engineers are a sorta super-analytical and kinda quirky sometimes, but really fun to have around because you NEVER know where they will take the conversation... For example, we had a conversation about whether or not Lake Las Vegas provided hydro-electric power to Vegas...let's just say this is NOT our typical mimosa infused conversation...)
Completely yummy breakfast burrito-scrambled eggs, cheese, hash browns, guacamole, sour creme all in one wrap...I'd already eaten the other 1/2!
Random condiment and mimosa photo
Another run for the books!
Next weekend, we're back in Coronado for a 2 hour long run. I'm kinda feeling like it's way too early to be running for two hours.

OK...back to getting ready to teach tomorrow... Hope you all have a wonderful week!


  1. Congrats on the race!
    Breakfast burrito looks awesome!

  2. Hey Alice, it's only like 25-ish C in Dubai right now. BEE-U-TI-FUL. I have never run on Fiesta Island but every time I read about it, people say it sucks.

    I couldn't be in your running club (assuming you'd have me) cuz I'm too manly for mimosas.

  3. Let Chris K. know your running club isn't even interested in having him. Unless he's showing off beautiful pictures of Dubai.

    Congratulations on an awesome race, girl!

  4. I'm glad she didn't move for the cyclist. The track club pays handsomeley to have the island road CLOSED to cyclists and cars during the race. He shouldn't have been on the road.

    Congratulations on a great race!!

  5. Congrats on a PR! I was bummed that I missed out on the High Dive, but Michael brought home some Halla toast just for me. :)

    I wish it were a little easier to edit some of the Garmin stats, such as your flight home. I've had that happen, too.

  6. Great job on the PR.
    Engineer-dude's conversation sounds like most of the ones with my friends.

  7. Your races (and post-race brunches) always seem So much fun. Very jealous of the weather and conditions as well - it's just so COLD here!

    And nice PR - and the flight home was cool. Yes I've had to doctor my Garmin and it's not easy.

  8. Great job Alice- my PRs have turned into SRs (slower results) but a beautiful day with roses at the finish! We missed having cuss-free, but now meat eating PA, especially at the libation celebration at the High Dive, spiced with engineer speak.

  9. Alice - you are my superhero! You are running and looking FABULOUS! Congrats on the PR!

    I'm most impressed with your last 3 miles as the dodging the walkers, dogs, and people leaving that event has always been a challenge. The pix of Elsie, Mik and you is a keeper!

  10. I like the middle-distance races, like 15Ks and 10 miles, because I can't run them as hard as a 5/10K, but they're not the existential agony that a marathon induces, either, lol. WTG on the PR!

  11. ALICE! Awesome job on the race!!! Loved your story, you crack me up. You are always HONEST!

    Yum, also loved that burrito. It's huge!