Thursday, December 29, 2011

America's Finest City Half Marathon August 2011

I somehow managed to forget that California is not flat. The America's Finest City Half Marathon in San Diego was tough. As per usual, I did not train nearly enough, however, I managed to make good time throughout most of the race. The scenery is great and the race was well run, but again, this one is for more serious runners than a lot of the people that compete at the Disney or Rock 'n' Roll events. I immediately felt out of place.

Yep, they are running laps pre-race. No thank you.

This is the first race I have done solo. You get bussed to the start line from Balboa Park and there's no traffic access otherwise, so once the buses drop you off, there's a heck of a lot of waiting to do.

Before sunrise at Cabrillo National Park.

Cabrillo National Monument
The race begins on an old Navy base, which is super cool (and also why there is no traffic allowed at that time of the day). The first mile was uphill, and then the next 2 miles were very downhill, which was great. I was making awesome time!

Ahhh, San Diego, you are very pretty.

The next several miles are pretty flat, and I was on track to actually have a pretty decent time this race. I cruised along taking in the scenery. This was also my first race as a Half Fanatic. I wore my shirt and actually had two other brand new Half Fanatics come up and say hi to me during the race.

That's me - Half Fanatic #1122

My usual Mile 10 pic

This is where things went down hill. I think maybe I had run too fast at the beginning - a habit I am having trouble breaking - and I was starting to get pretty tired. Somewhere during mile 11, the course becomes mostly uphill. At the beginning of the race, I had overheard several runners joke about saving energy for the last hill. They were not kidding. Pretty much the last mile and a half is just an uphill battle. I ended up crossing the finish line around 3 hours, which wasn't too bad considering how slowly I crawled during the last 2 miles. Seriously, I think it took me over half an hour just to do that last hill. I was praying for a sniper to take me out...

I survived!
I also learned a lesson about immediately napping after a race. My body stiffened up badly after this one. But I did manage to get myself out of bed to meet up with my friend, Julie, that lives in San Diego. We headed out for Morrocan food. It was ah-may-zing. Plus, it's always fun to see Julie!


The half marathon race was not the only event for that week. I stayed a few extra days and spent some time in Del Mar, which is beautiful. The town is great and I got to spend some time with one of my dear friends and coworker. We also spent some time at the track because I have a lot of clients that work there.

They run only slightly faster than I do...

I wouldn't mind living here...
I may do this race again in the future because it's pretty cool and the scenery is amazing. I just need to give myself some time to forget that ridiculous hill at the end. Seriously.

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