Friday, April 3, 2015

San Diego Mermaid Half - Part Two - Race Recap

This is another trip to knock off a state in my friend Claudia's quest to run a half in all 50 states. (You can read about the rest of the trip in this post.) I've now been to ColoradoGeorgiaTexas and California with her. This is a super fun way to get in some traveling (especially to warm places in the winter) and some races. Claudia's friend, Becky, was also on this trip and I was so glad to get to know her better!

Spoiler... this one certainly wasn't a personal best but not a worst either. Although it was my first over two hours in three years. All of the fun (and walking and hiking) we had contributed I'm sure, but it was all worth it. ~On that note, one of us did get a PR, so I probably shouldn't use the walking as an excuse. :)~

First up... Packet Pick Up - a little less than exciting and, in retrospect, we should have probably just gotten there a little early on race day. (Lots of traffic to and from and out of our way since we weren't staying in the city.)

On the way to the race, Claudia was looking up things to do afterward. She asked if we wanted to hike as she had found a few that looked interesting. I tried to convince her to go for a win on the race so she may be too tired to hike later. :) It didn't work. We did hike later and it was great.

We got to the race only a little early and probably should have gotten out of the car a little sooner but it was chilly that morning. My biggest complaint about the whole race was the very limited number of toilets at the start line. This is a race for women. I swear there were only 20 of them. For over 1000 women and their spectators. Needless to say, we didn't make it through the line before the start.

Other than that, the parking and start line were pretty well organized. First, an obligatory pre-race selfie...

Yes, there were men in the race. Not sure why. But, they weren't prohibited. They just couldn't win any awards.

I took no photos during the race. The first part was beautiful with the sun coming up over the bay. I was also running way too fast (I was ahead of the 1:50 pacer until mile 5 or so) which began to catch up with me, oh, around the time the 1:50 pacer passed me. In general, it wasn't a great feeling race for me. I also don't remember very much. Here's what I do remember...

There was a guy who kept passing me and getting directly in front of me after he did. This was not a crowded race or one with a lot of curves so no need to do that. When he came back in front of me, he would slow down considerably. Or, one time, he stopped to tie his shoe. It was incredibly annoying. 

I talked with a lady around mile 11 who was gunning for under 2 hours. She was right on pace by our watches. However, the mile 10 (or was it 11) mile marker was way off. There is no thing much more discouraging than that. So, she wasn't sure. I ran with her a while but then took another walking break. I'll bet she made it. 

Speaking of those walking breaks. Man, I took a lot of them from mile 10 on. I was out of juice and hot. I really didn't have much left so I don't feel terrible about it. Plus, this is the first time I've done two races within two weeks, so maybe I didn't recover fully. Either way, it was a pretty cruddy feeling race and I was thrilled when it was over. 

These are not the most flattering photos. I'm sharing them with you to show the agony. And, because I know you all love me anyway. (I didn't know these were being taken - I may have tried to smile if I'd known!)

I was so glad Matt was able to come to the finish line! I've said it before and I'll say it over and over again, race spectators are just the best! 

Claudia and Becky both won prizes in their age divisions! Way to go girls! 

Most excitedly, Becky got a PR, which is highly impressive on so many levels! But, particularly impressive when it's a new course, across the country and after Mexican food the previous day. :) Way to go Becky!

Aside from the lack of toilets at the beginning of the race, everything was well done. Plenty of water stations and a well marked course. Easy to get to and really nice scenery. It was pretty darned flat too. They gave out little necklaces instead of medals which is a cute idea. The only other downside was that the shirts were generic Mermaid series shirts and didn't say San Diego. Not a huge deal, but notable nonetheless. 

Glad to have race #2 out of 5 for the year checked off the list! And, always love the destination races!

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