Monday, November 3, 2008

Santa Clarita Half Marathon Race Report

I have been looking forward to running this race for some time. I had my wife attend the expo and pick up my bib and chip as I had to work for a few hours on Saturday. Those few hours turned into 10 hours, but that is another story. Needless to say, after a bowl of pasta, I set the alarm and headed off to bed.

I woke up at 4:30am, at a Clif Bar and some peanut butter, took a shower and got dressed. There was a chance of rain but since it cam on Saturday afternoon, I figured it was slim at best. I walked outside to check the temperature and it was drizzling, OK I can deal with that. I grab a trash bag and cut a few holes in it and headed out the door. On my 25 minute drive to the race, the drizzle turned to rain...crap...I didn't want to deal with rain. I pulled into the parking structure and parked. I got out and looked down on the finish line area and there were a few people mulling around. I went back to the car and just sat for a while. While I was sitting there, the guy next to me got out of his car and headed to the start line, funny thing was he was wearing flip flops. After a few minutes, I noticed the dome light was on in his car. I decided to grab my stuff and head down to the starting line and see if I can find this guy and tell. As I was making my way to the starting area, I saw that gentleman and I stopped him to let him know his dome light was still on. (I'm a big believer in Karma) He thanked me and ran off to the parking structure. By now the rain had stopped and I could see some breaks in the clouds. I tossed my garbage bag and hit the porta-potty one last time.

After a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem, the starter's gun went off. The marathon, half marathon and 5 K all started at the same time. The first mile was uphill and other than being a bit crowded, everything was going well. My plan was to try to keep a 9:00/mile pace throughout and hit the downhill sections a bit faster so if I had to slow up a bit on the uphill parts, I would still be able to come in under 2 hours. Miles 3-6 took us through and industrial park and then on to the trail that runs along the dry riverbed. The trail had a slight incline all the way to mile 9 where we crossed over to the other side of the riverbed and headed down the trail. There were a couple of bands playing through miles 10 and 11. Around mile 10, I looked at my garmin and did the math in my head and thought there is no way I am going to make it in under 2 hours. At that point, I got discouraged and took a walk break. I figured if I could come in under 2:05:00, I would be happy, so I tried to get back to my 9:00/mile pace. At mile 11 I took my last Gu pack and some water and kept plugging along. As I passed the last water station at mile 12, I looked at my garmin again and re-did the math and figured if I could push myself, I think I can come in just under 2 hours. I was running along the riverbed and hit turn off for the half marathon to head to the finish line. I looked out ahead of me and I saw 2 paseos ( paths that cross over streets) that I would have to cross to get to the finish line...both were uphill. I got over the first one Ok and I could see the turn for the finish area. I got almost to the top of the second one and had to walk to the top, once I hit the top it was all down hill to the finish. I kicked had the last 200 yards with an all out spring the last 100 yards to cross the line. I grabbed my finishers medal and looked at my garmin...1:59:40 woo hoo...I made it under 2 hours. I grabbed a bagel and some water and walked around the finish line for a while. I headed home, took a shower and went for a massage, which as I write this, I feel it was great for recovery. Later that evening when the official results were posted, I got the added surprise of my official time: 1:59:30

All in all it was a great race and I will definitely put this one on next years calendar. The volunteers were fantastic and enthusiastic, many of which were kids. There were 2 downsides to the race, one is that I always forget to put vaseline on my nipples and boy did I feel it today in the shower. The second would be about setting the goal of coming in under 2 hours. That was always in the back of my mind and that is all I thought about, in a way, it kept me from enjoying the race. Maybe it was Karma that helped bring me in under 2 hours, who knows.

Here is a link to the data from my garmin 305:

1 comment:

Glenn Jones said...

Great RR Bob! Thanks for the info on the Garmin chest strap. I thought I had it fixed, but had the same problem again last night. Grrr....