Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Santa Barbara Wine Country Half-Marathon Relay 2010

EVENT: Santa Barbara Wine Country Half-Marathon
DATE: Saturday, May 8, 2010
LOCATION: Santa Ynez/Los Olivos/Solvang, CA
RACE BEGAN: 7:15 am
FINISH TIME: 01:41:24 (49:41, 51:42)

I re-registered to run this relay again for the third year in a row.

Since this race was nestled in between marathoning, a cold I got afterward, and injuries, I consider myself lucky that I had become well enough to dedicate some time to specifically train for my leg of the race, which was once again the shorter 5.8 mi portion. The course is hilly for both runners (I am now going to attach the elevation map). I did hill training, though considering my injuries and how I've only been able to "really" run for a few weeks now, it was not easy to suddenly do this. And due to the lack of training and weak lungs from my cold, I didn't get the fair chance to train like I had intended.

Our time in Solvang this time around was quiet. I think we both needed that day off... or maybe it was just me.

The Race:

Once again, we waited at the cold (below 50 degrees) start line beyond what was supposed to be the start time. I swear, this part always weakens me. About 45 minutes before the start, I had a GU to make sure I had my stomach not hungry and caffeine in my system.

I clocked my first mile under 8 minutes, which I knew was too fast, but I really did not perceive myself pushing that hard. I think each subsequent mile was tougher than the last. I was glad that I remembered my sunglasses this time because of the rising sun, but I did, however, leave my iPod behind. I realized this while walking to the bus, but I didn't pursue getting it because I don't think it would have made a difference because the race was not that long.

By the end of mile 3, I was really not doing too well... I felt zapped of energy and having trouble breathing. I can honestly say that it took a lot of will for me to get to the end of my leg. Once I crossed the transition line, "The Ukrainian" took off. Although I came in around the same time as last year, he shaved off a minute or two off of his (I knew he would because I've seen him train at crazy speeds).

As I mentioned last year, one of my favorite parts about this race is being able to see your partner come in at the end and get to them immediately. We noticed that there was a relative lack of post-race food compared to previous years... just Wheeties, scant pastries (he and I alone probably ate most of a supply we saw on the table), and Red Vines. To make up for that, we went to Split Pea Andersen's in Buellton after we checked out of our hotel.

Once again, we placed 2nd in the Co-ed relay division and 5th out of 150-ish relay teams overall. Not bad, although we obviously wanted to win (which in my mind, we did, since the team that beat us did not register a split/transition time). Above all, though, we both had a good time with each other out of town. This was uplifting for me because this race was a post-injury goal of mine as well as a much-needed respite from daily life (did I already mention that?)

I won't be able to do this race again next year, and perhaps it is a good time to take a break from it, anyway, after running it 3 times. I have a presentation forum that I must participate in as a fourth-year student that always takes place on this weekend in May.

Finally, I ran 10 (very sluggish) miles the next day, because I really need to start whipping myself into shape for next month's mud run and marathon. What was I thinking when I decided to do both? I'm going to be spending these next couple of weeks whipping myself into some sort of workable condition short of re-injuring myself, so this should be interesting.


  1. I was thinking of doing this race again too. M said he wanted to do a half marathon and this was the first one far enough out for him to train for.

    Sounds like a fun weekend you are planning!

  2. That must be an amazing race to run. Pretty beautiful I can imagine. Plus, you get to sip on some wine as you cross the finish line. Actually, maybe that's a not a great idea. Have a good time!

    Interval Training Man