EVENT: Carlsbad Half-Marathon
DATE: Sunday, January 22, 2012
LOCATION: Carlsbad, CA
RACE BEGAN: 7:30 am
FINISH TIME: 01:56:53
I signed up for this race last April (click here for my commentary on that), vowing that I would train hard over the holidays to bolster my performance.
Err, fat chance.
I feel like the crappiest, laziest, runner on the planet. As I mentioned in my race report two weeks ago, the longest run I've attempted since November is 6 miles, and things haven't changed since then. Weekly mileage looks more like 15, consisting of 3- and 4-milers, and that's at the top of the range. I'm a little ashamed to admit it, but I'm honest, so there.
As we were sitting in the mall parking lot on race morning, I was filled with a sense of dread. Dread because I had been run down on sleep for a few days, dread because I still have fresh memories of struggling through the 50 mph winds at Camarillo two weeks ago, and dread because I didn't feel like running at all. But I chewed on my Honey Stinger chews (just like two weeks ago... I really will review these soon!) and hoped for the best.
Thank goodness there were ample port-a-potties at the start, since I had to use them, and it seemed like regardless of the huge quantity, there were enough people to use and wait in line for them. A couple things about this race that I should mention that are not related to the run itself is its good organization (more on this later) and the sheer number of really, really fit people in the field.
I started in Wave 2, and I felt like I didn't belong there. No, I didn't lie about my projected finish time, but it seemed like those around me was gunning for around 1:45.
Mile 1 - 8:32
Mile 2 - 8:12
I had my Garmin covered during the first few miles, so although I was holding back and allowing all the fit people in my wave pass me, these went quickly. There were a few climbs throughout these first miles. I guess since I last ran this race in 2008, I didn't remember these climbs (sorry for the mis-info, Cindy!).
Mile 3 - 8:38
Mile 4 - 8:43
Mile 5 - 8:52
In these miles, there was a long incline, which started more steep and then became less steep but still up and up. My stomach was bloating up (TMI and too much Souplantaion the night before), but I held it together.
Mile 6 - 8:45
Mile 7 - 9:06
After a particularly annoying hill, I needed some energy drink and walked through the water station at the top to make sure I got enough, since I seemed to be missing it at the other stations.
Mile 8 - 8:42
Mile 9 - 9:01
Around this point, my right calf was tightening. I never used to have this happen before during half-marathons, but in the past few (even when I was more trained), it has plagued me, as if my weird cramping condition that killed my last marathon was saying, "You can't avoid me just because you're doing a half!"
So, I held back my pace a bit, though the small hills continued. I was breathing deeply to get oxygen to my legs and tried to shift my efforts to my upper body.
Mile 10 - 9:07
Mile 11 - 9:24
It seems like the hills didn't stop, and there weren't too many huge downhills to compensate. I heard someone say, "I think this is the last hill" three times. Hah! I knew I was on pace to finish sub-2 but not fast enough to hit my PR Although I had not quite been giving 100% due to feeling "over" the whole racing thing, I pushed at the end because I just wanted it to be over, even though my untrained legs were tired.
Mile 12 - 9:13
Mile 13 - 8:57
.22 Mile - 7:52
I sprinted at the last turn to make it in before 1:57 and felt like puking. =P
I was really happy that the finish chute was mostly clear this time, as in 2008, this area had been a nightmare. Glad to see that they worked it out.
Note that I have not done a sub-2 half since 2010, probably because I only ran trail half-marathons in 2011, but still. Also notable is the fact that the last time I did this race, my finish time was 2:12. Not bad, since not training and walking through water stations certainly don't lead to a PR, but this lack of discipline seems to be working. Unfortunately. Please don't follow suit. It just seems to be working for me because I am less likely to get burnt out or injured????????? Also, I still think that The Bar Method DVDs I've been doing have been helping somehow.
Bottom line, I am satisfied with my mediocrity. Okay, I don't really mean that, but even when I was training, I wasn't exactly running times like these; this is one of my top finish times (3rd or 4th best of my 21 half-marathons). Although there could be better times for me, I'm not sure how to get there without the burnout or injury. So as much as I can do OK doing what I'm doing, I'll accept that perhaps I'm just a weird case and benefit from "less is more."
I have another half in two weeks (yes, again). I didn't plan it this way, but hopefully I can clear my mind and be more enthusiastic about it.
Race pictures (from Brightroom):