Wednesday, June 8, 2011

San Diego RnR 1/2 Marathon Recap

Forget the Golden Rule of racing. After blowing up at my last race, and spending the past 2 weeks trying to recover from it, I figured I had nothing to lose.

I was going to do EVERYTHING new for this race.

Here's how it all went down:

The race expo was our first stop after arriving San Diego. It was epic. We were there from about 2:00 until closing at 6:00. Yes, there was that much to try on, test out, and taste. My wallet really got a workout too.


Following your advice, my first order of business was to buy a pair or compression sleeves for my calves to help with the muscle cramps. I ended up getting the full length 2XU compression tights (new thing #1). I promise you…you’ll want to keep checking out your bum in the mirror when you have these pants on. If nothing else, at least they’ll make you look sleek and fast. They felt equally as great on my legs.

Next, I visited the KT Tape booth and had them apply tape to both my legs in a way meant to alleviate calf muscle strains (new thing #2).


After the expo we walked over to Petco Park to watch a Padres game. Elijah has some pretty sweet season tickets.

Our lucky night. It was Padres garden gnome giveaway night :P
Elijah and Adelle were great hosts as always. We had a delicious pizza dinner back at their apartment, then they set us up with a place to sleep. We were out immediately. Before we knew it, it was 4:30 and our alarms were going off.

Along with my standard PB sandwich, I followed Elijah’s advice and enjoyed a can of FRS (new thing #3) with my breakfast. I also stuffed a couple of the FRS chews in my pocket in case of emergency.



After a group photo, we embarked on our 1.5 mile walk to the starting line.

I'd been free of calf pain for the past couple days, but they still felt very tight. I really had no idea what to expect. My mantra for this race was "stay in control." I didn't travel across the country to DNF.

Along with staying in control of my pace, staying ahead of my hydration/nutrition needs was critical. I was really afraid of repeating ODDyssey all over again.

I didn't share this with y'all, but this is what my calf looked like after the ODDyssey Half Marathon. I had a nice little bruise that was rather painful. I've secretly spent the past couple weeks freaking out about how I was going to handle this race, or if I was even able to race it at all. My only workouts between these races were three 30 min runs on the treadmill, 30 mins on the elliptical, and a couple sessions of Yoga X.

We arrived at the starting area around 5:50. The conditions were just right with a starting temp in the high 50's, a light breeze, and no humidity. The first wave of runners started at exactly 6:15. I was seeded in corral 2, but decided to start in corral 4 instead so I wouldn't be seduced into taking off too fast. At 6:19, I was off.

Normally I’d get frustrated with the congestion at the beginning of a large race, but I didn't attempt to bob and weave around other runners to get ahead in the opening miles. There was no point in expending that extra energy and adding extra distance to my race. I settled into a rhythm with the runners around me, and gave my calf a chance loosen up.

At mile 3, I saw my first aid station and grabbed a cup of Cytomax (new thing #4). Normally I’d wait until mile 6 or 7 to grab some water and maybe some Gatorade at miles 8 and 10. This time I wanted to start taking in sports drink as soon as possible. From miles 3-10, I alternated between Cytomax and water at each aid station (new thing #5). I also chomped on 3 Clif Shot Bloks and a couple FRS chews in between miles 4 and 10 (new thing #6).

We ran on some major highways and through Balboa Park. Although the course was flat for the most part, it had it’s share of sneaky hills. You know, the low grade variety that look innocent enough in the beginning but seem to go on forever. I tried to run based on feel and not get trapped by my Garmin this time around.


The RnR people know how to put on a good event. The post race party was fully stocked with goodies.

My stomach usually won’t allow food after the race. Instead of waiting around for an hour or two this time, I knew it was important to get some carbs and protein into my system for muscle recovery, so I forced some in anyway (new thing #7). I downed a full bottle of Cytomax and a Marathon Energy bar.

I found Mr. Blondie and some other friends with the help of some very kind person who let me use his phone. We gathered back around the finish line and cheered for Adelle as she finished her first half marathon strong in 2:31.

Then the waiting began. I’m very glad I grabbed my hat at the last minute. I would have been baked to a crisp in the bright sun without it.

Around 11:00 it was time for me to walk back to Fiesta Island to pace Elijah through the home stretch. You have to really dig deep into your soul to survive the last few miles of a marathon, so I don’t know if my upbeat chatter was annoying or helpful. I’d like to think it was the latter.



His longest run leading up to the marathon was a 10 miler. Not gonna lie EJ, I choked a little when you said that. But in true Elijah fashion, he set his mind to doing something and he made it happen. Congrats EJ! You’re totally in for RnR Miami now right???


Now to the part you really want to know about….

The result of trying all this new stuff?

A new PR!

After 2 months of weak training, I finished 30 seconds faster than my previous best with an official time of 1:36:09. Plus, I woke up feeling great the next morning and barely had any soreness.

Here are my splits:


The more hydration/fuel stuff is a no-brainer, I should have been doing that all along. I really liked the taste of the specific products I tried and how easy they were to digest. The compression tights and KT tape made my legs feel great, and I think they made a big difference in my recovery too.

I’ll definitely continue to experiment with everything and figure out how to best incorporate them into my running.

Sub 1:35 half…I’m coming for you this fall.

Stats:
Time: 1:36:09
Pace: 7:20/mi
Overall: 335/17152
Gender: 60/11538
Div: 14/2313

25 comments:

  1. Nice! Glad you had such a good race! And San Diego is such a nice city- what a bonus.

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  2. Nice run and congrats on the PR! Sometimes breaking rules is a good thing.

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  3. Woohoo, congrats! I wasn't expecting this after your previous, ominous-sounding post. :)

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  4. Impressive, your so fast!
    Congrats on the new PR looks like an awesome race.

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  5. Well. Your post before this was a total psyche out.

    Congrats on your PR!! You are brave for trying so many new things on race day, but it worked out for you!

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  6. What a tease!!! I thought for sure that you were going to tell us about a terrible race...glad all the newness resulted in a PR!!

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  7. Yeah Shelby, I've had my fair share of incidents too, but fortunately this wasn't one of them. I couldn't have told the story in your legendary fashion,

    The course did have plenty of foliage and dense shrubbery along the way. Definitely good to know for future reference :)

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  8. Wow! What a great PR. Sounds like you had a great day - way to break the rules ;)

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  9. Holy cow-look at that time! Great job!

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  10. Congrats on your PR! You were too fast for me! You were probably already through by the time I got to my coaching area (mile 10 of the 1/2 and 14 of the full).

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  11. I was looking for you Amber! Do you have more RnR's on your schedule this year?

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  12. congrats on the PR!! I loved running the SD RNR a few years ago, hoping to recreate a little during my work trip next week

    how is the sugar free challenge going?

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  13. It must have been all of your new things that did the trick! ;) I loved your tally of the new things you got at the race. But I've got to say that I'm pretty jealous of the garden gnomes you got at the game.

    So excited for your new PR by the way! (:

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  14. Thanks Ash! Hope all is well with the move.

    Apparently those garden gnomes were a hot commodity. The lines formed super early with people trying to get them.

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  15. wow wow!! congrats! were the full length compressions hot? They look so good! Love the pic of you running, it's a great shot. Nice job on the PR. You're so fast!

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  16. You are crazy fast! Good job on the PR!

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  17. Bravo - congratulations!!! Also gotta wonder if you got too warm in the full length tights? I'm guessing it wasn't too bad being that you raced so well. :-)

    Love that you snuck in a baseball game too. I always try to do that when we travel somewhere with a team.

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  18. Congrats on the PR!!!
    Glad you had such a great day even though you "broke the rules".

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  19. They were comfortable for my race and for hanging out in afterwards. They would have cooked me if I was running the full marathon though, especially in the midday sun. They'd be best for temps 65 degrees and less.

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  20. I thoroughly enjoyed the last 5K running with you Lin! Congrats on that PR and the awesome sub 6 minute milers! That's so freaking awesome!

    You know I'm signing up for RnR Miami and Savannah. Maybe just the halves though but I'll see. I'm feeling great and waaaay too excited to meet my new goals.

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  21. you are a beast! congrats! sorry we missed you and the hubby!

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  22. Haha, thanks Ry. I think I'll take that as a compliment :p

    Sorry we missed you. We tried looking and kept checking on the athlete tracker, but it was so crowded near the finish. hope to see you again soon. Had EJ tried to recruit you for the Florida Keys Ragnar yet? January is a really nice time of year there....

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  23. Bravo - congratulations!!! Also gotta wonder if you got too warm in the full length tights? I'm guessing it wasn't too bad being that you raced so well. :-)

    Love that you snuck in a baseball game too. I always try to do that when we travel somewhere with a team.

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  24. It must have been all of your new things that did the trick! ;) I loved your tally of the new things you got at the race. But I've got to say that I'm pretty jealous of the garden gnomes you got at the game.

    So excited for your new PR by the way! (:

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