Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"26.2 Miles of Running Heaven"

That is the tag line of the Half Moon Bay Marathon.  And for the most part, it really was heaven (the last 3 miles really weren't, but those never are!).

5 am and all ready to go!

 It was cold and foggy at the start!  I had saved my foil blanket from the Surf City marathon to use at the start of this race.  My pockets were filled with jelly beans, swedish fish and a squeezy apple sauce.

Almost the entire race was along the beach.  It was really beautiful.  The fog did obscure some of the views, but made for perfect running weather.

Some of the course took us through pine groves,
and across footbridges.

We were even treated to a bagpipe outside the Ritz Carlton!

So how did I do?  I would say OK.  I was hoping, and really expecting to better my time from Surf City.  I didn't- in fact, my time was almost identical to the second at 4:10.  But I did feel like I ran a better race.  My race plan this time was too start slower (I went out too fast last time) with a goal of 9:10- 9:15 pace for the first 10 miles (which did have some small hills).  Then I wanted to pick it up for the second 10 to about 9:05.  Then pray for the last 6.2 miles (anyone who has run a marathon knows that the last 6 are a total crap shoot).

I stuck to my plan for the first 10- I had about a 9:11 pace.  I think I did pick it up some for the second 10 but then I slowed.  There were a few little hills between miles 17-19 that I wasn't expecting which took a bit out of me.  I can't remember what my pace was by mile 20, but I think I had drifted down to 9:20.

And the last 6.2? A bit rough, but much better than Surf City!  At Surf City I tanked at mile 17, and was walking/running from mile 18 on.  That is a long way to run/walk.  This time I did not walk until mile 23, than for less than a minute.  I did that 2 more times until mile 25, then resolved I would not stop the last 1.2.  And I didn't.  I passed several people the last 6.2, and was passed by very few.  And no vomiting while running!  What a joy that was.

The race itself was wonderful.  Plenty of water stops with nice, helpful volunteers.  Our race bib had our name on it, and so many of the volunteers and spectators would yell out encouraging things to us by name.  I have to tell you, that really helps me!  Easy to get to, easy parking right at the start line, beautiful course, and plenty of water/fuel stops with great people.   Everything one could ask for in a race!  This tops my list so far, and I hope to do it again.
This photo does not do the brightness of the shirt justice- I love it!

So what is next for me?  Somewhere around mile 21 I decided this was it for me- only crazy people do this to themselves on purpose!  What is the matter with me?  At the finish line (while keeling over with abdominal cramps) I thought, well, I will do another one, but not for at least a year.  Maybe Sacramento December 2013?  The following day I decided that was too far away.  Yesterday I signed up for Napa March 2013!  Thank you to my incredibly supportive husband, who thinks I am crazy for doing this, but supports me none the less.  Love you!

Thank you to Chris who took the pictures of the actual race.  Click here to see professional shots of an amazing course.

I think this was somewhere past mile 20.  I am actually smiling!

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

You look great, you sound like you had a really good time and the experience sounds like it was as good as can be. I love when spectators call out in support. It really does boost the energy level.

I have to admit, you might be kindling my quiet inner desire to run another one myself. :-)