Western Pacific Half Marathon

Thank you for doing the right thing and choosing to say that I looked better in those prom dresses in my 20's than I did in high school.  You would all make excellent boyfriends ;)

So I ran a cute li'l 13.1 today, and I am content with the knowledge that any running that happens this weekend is destined to be overshadowed by the big event, Boston.

Running, Not in Boston

I've never had an interest in signing up for Boston, because it is so far away (read: expensive) and so crowded (read: earrrlly wake up call).

After today, I finally learned the appeal of huge crowds.  And the misery of a small, emptier race.

Oh it really wasn't miserable -- the race directors did a fab job.  I just mentally cracked with boredom. 

The race was smaller than any I've ever run, with 268 halfers and a handful of marathoners, 10k-ers, and 5-kers.

Let's cut to the chase and get the stats out of the way:

1:32:50, 13.4 miles (to be further discussed...this time the extra 0.3 really threw me off ) 6:55 avg garmin pace, 7:05 chip pace.

2nd place woman, 7th place person of 268, 1st place in division.

I love the motion you can sense from this image -- and you can see the edge of a smile because I just passed my incredible team of support, cutie-pie-panini + our friends Spencer & Elka

Today's race was a minor struggle.

My legs felt great -- my hamstring is fine.  But I couldn't muster up the motivation to run any faster in the midst of a flat, repetitive, lonely course.

Ultimately, it was a blessing in disguise.  My body feels fantastic right now -- I feel like I could go on an afternoon run -- so I expect to feel fine long before Eugene in two weeks.

I thank Fremont for the boring straight path and the lack of cheerers for helping me take it easy today.

Still Running, Not in Boston

Lessons Learned:

1) a HUGE part of racing is INFLUENCED by the cheering and motivation you receive from those supporting from the sidelines, and the fast runners at your side.  Today, there were very very few cheerleaders, and I was by myself for a large span of time (miles 7-13) and couldn't convince my brain to go for it.

2) Flat  I'll run on a treadmill if I want that.

3) I need to cool down the pre-race sugar.  I had a bunch of gummy chews, sips of red bull, cherry juice, half a lava gel (courtesy of hauterunningmama).  Sugar overdose led to an early side-stitch.

4) I. Need. Music.  I neeeeed music!!!  The boredom was deafening.  I will definitely bring my ipod to Eugene.

5) I need to strengthen and stretch my hips to whatever degree possible during the next two weeks.  Today and during the Oakland half, I noticed that around mile 10 my left hip starts to get a little angry.

The other common pain I have noticed (this race and the US Half in SF) was in my left shoulder.  Don't know how to fix that or avoid it...

Why The 13.4 Hurt Me

Let me have my moment of whining.  I learned my lesson that Garmin's aren't always accurate, but I will start by sharing this picture, which tells a lot about how I felt during that 0.4:

I'm at 13.3, saying to panini "What's happening, did I miss a turn!?!"

Story: my Garmin was aligned perfectly throughout the race.  At every mile marker, my Garmin also struck a mile mark within several seconds.  At the 13th mile marker, my Garmin read 13 miles.  So I started the ole homestretch sprint.

AND THEN.  the end.  Never.  Seemed. to come.

I suspect the race directors just wanted the halfers, the full marathoners, the 5k-ers and the 10k-ers to run the same homestretch and didn't really care about how long it was.  Well it was 0.4 miles.

After over a minute of kicking into high gear for that 0.1, I slowed it up and began to sulk and growl.  This was a bummer way to end the race.

**Edited to Add:  I just got an e-mail from the race directors explaining that there was an additional 0.2 miles or more added to the end due to some last minute changes which were necessary, as the lake water levels had risen wiping out part of the old course.  


Mile 1: 6:35
Mile 2: 6:34
Mile 3: 6:45
Mile 4: 6:56
Mile 5: 6:54
Mile 6: 6:52
Mile 7: 6:57
Mile 8: 7:02
Mile 9: 7:00
Mile 10: 7:04
Mile 11: 7:17 (aw, what?!)
Mile 12: 6:59
Mile 13: 7:04
Mile 0.4:  2:46 (6:52 pace)

Garmin Avg. Pace of 6:55, chip avg pace of 7:05 based on 13.1 miles.

And here's a smorgasbord of other pictures.

Not my alcohol monitor...the timing chip was an anklet

Panini got a lot of ass shots for some reason...

blurry butt

Mile 3