Sunday, December 29, 2013

San Diego Holiday Half Recap

Ryan and I ran the San Diego Holiday Half Marathon this morning. It was my SIXTH half marathon this year and it was Ryan's SECOND!


I saw that the course was supposed to be FAST (a point-to-point race with a 714 foot net drop from start to finish), so I was originally hoping this would be my sub-1:59 course, but when Ryan expressed interest in running alongside of me I decided this would be a TEAM race.



Since it was a point-to-point race (meaning it starts in a different place than it finishes), we decided that we would park at the finish line and take a bus to the start. We thought we would prefer to be able to just leave after we finished the race, rather than having to wait around for a bus to take us back to our car at the starting line. **One funny note about the buses - I think they just sub the job out to the lowest bidder, and the bus Ryan and I ended up on was a "party bus". I mean, so much so that it had glitter all over the ground, bench seating, blacked out windows, and even a "pole" in the middle. I think everyone was surprised when we got on and had to go through the black curtain ;).

The race started in the parking lot of an Albertsons grocery store. The NICE thing about this was that we were all able to stand inside to stay warm while waiting for the race to start. (This was ESPECIALLY nice since the temperatures were in the 30s when we got there.)

Ryan trying to stay warm in the front of Albertsons

Temps were chilly but was very comfortable once we started running

Us waiting for the coral to be released [YES, I was wearing mittens]

Ryan was hoping that he would be able to beat his previous half marathon time (which was 2:22:52). His IT band had been bothering him lately, but we still wanted to try and get him another PR (since the Disneyland Half Marathon was his first half it was an automatic Personal Record, anything faster than his previous time would be another PR).

The goals I had for this race for us were: A. 2:15 or faster, B. 2:20 or faster, C. 2:30 or faster, and D. finish the race together.

We started off on pace for a BIG PR, but quickly Ryan's IT band started acting up. I think the biggest culprit were all of the rolling hills. If you have ever dealt with IT band issues, you know going downhill is EXCRUCIATING. I could tell by about mile 3 that this race was not going to be a fun one for Ry. I tried to keep him upbeat and not focusing on the pain, but that only went so far.

The course itself was nice. The majority of it was on a bike path, which was well taken care of. I was worried that it might be too congested, but thankfully we didn't have to do much weaving. Most of the bike path was alongside of an expressway, which was sort of strange since we had speeding cars on one side of us, but it wasn't too bad. The weather was perfect (started in the 30s and was around 65* by the time we finished).

This was the first year of the race, which you could tell in some of the unorganized aspects. For example, the water stations weren't very well manned (one of them only had about 4 kids at it - and by kids I mean like 12-year-olds, so there was no water on the table) and there were very limited port-o-potties throughout the course. I normally don't need to use the restroom during a race, so it wasn't a big deal for me, but I did see quite a few guys heading as far off the bike path as they could to relieve themselves and the maybe 5 port-o-potties throughout the race had SUPER LONG lines.

We ended up crossing the finish line together (although Ryan told me many times throughout the race to just leave him behind) and still hit our C goal. We finished with a time of 2:28, which was only 6 minutes slower than Ryan's last half (and with his IT band, that was an AMAZING time).

Official time had us at 2:28:03

Quite a few people commented on my festive outfit today :) A lot of the volunteers were wearing Santa hats, so I would tell them 'Thank You Santa' and they would say 'You're Welcome Elf' {it was like we had rehearsed it or something :) }. I had a handful of ladies comment on my skirt - normally used in my Minnie Mouse outfit, but worked perfectly with today's race garb. I also had a runner or two tell me they liked my holiday attire, especially my socks.

All-in-all I think if Ryan's IT band wouldn't have been aggravated we would have had a great time. I think I would still sign up for it again in the future. It was a cheap, local race that is worth a second shot!


Meridith said...

Sounds like a good race! I've dealt with IT bands in the past so I definitely know how excruciating that can be.

The party bus had me giggling!I can only imagine what you all thought getting on there.

Unknown said...

Ugh, I totally sympathize with the IT band issue. It caused me to have a horrible half marathon last March and I've been struggling to keep any issues at bay ever since.

Stretching and strength exercises have been the best help.

I also learned how to tape my knee (my PT showed me) for longer runs and races.

I have patellar tracking issues so hopefully Ryan's issue won't take as much babying.