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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Race Report - January 3rd, 2016 - Camarillo Half Marathon

January 3 - Race Report, Camarillo Half Marathon
Was I dreading this race or what?  Seriously.  I was so fucking tired of running with this holiday run streak - I definitely entered the morning of January 3 feeling untrained, tired, and seriously unmotivated.  It certainly didn't help that Charles had been sick since New Year's Eve, and I'd be heading up to Camarillo early Sunday morning by myself.  
Let's talk nutrition first.  Charles and I really went on a HUGE binge during Winter Break.  Knowing that we were moving fully into the WFPB world come 2016, we ate a shit-ton of crappy food from Christmas Eve through New Year's Eve.  By January 2nd we had done meal planning for the week, but no grocery shopping :( Although my pre-race meal on Saturday night WAS exceptional.  Charles made his make-shift marinara sauce with whole wheat spaghetti.  I had some garlic bread, too; and had enjoyed an amazing green smoothie for breakfast with a spinach salad for lunch.  So even though my week of eating was for shit, my Saturday choices were much cleaner.
Hydration - meh.  Did my best to drink plenty of fluids on Saturday.  Was not very active that day at all due to Charles being sick.  But it's safe to say that I came into the start line feeling a little less than hydrated, although thankfully not dehydrated.  
Arriving at Camarillo, and going to the specific directions for the starting line.  I became confused.  The parking lot was large, but NOTHING was lit up whatsoever.  I circled the parking lot hoping to find an identifiable volunteer to ask questions.  I figured basically where the packet pick up was going to be, but with zero light, I was a little scared to navigate that path by myself and in the dark.  So what does a lonesome runner do?  She drives over to the SECOND recommended parking lot.  Still can't see shit, but can make out something of a field house or bathroom.  
So, I get checked in and use the bathroom.  Not that you needed to know that, but whatever.  And did I mention that it was COLD?  I mean, not Midwestern-Below-Zero Cold, but it's-not-supposed-to-get-this-cold-in-Southern-California Cold.  So after packet pick up and bathroom, I went back to the car and ran my seat warmer.  And tried to put on my timing chip.  Have you ever tried to do this in your car?  Not super easy.  At some point I finished, put on my race bib, and headed out to meet up with my father in a law, who lives in Camarillo.  My mother in law did not come.  So Larry was there in the last few minutes before gun time.  Given that Charles was sick and couldn't be there with me, it was great to have a friendly face available at the start line before the gun.

Let me segway just a bit to talk about how difficult it is for me to race alone. I have only done this a few times in my life - meaning that I go to a race by myself, race by myself, head home by myself.  I don't necessarily need to run WITH anyone - although if that works out, it's nice - but I enjoy and thrive from the company of someone who's either going to cross the finish line and wait for me (or vice versa) or see me WHEN I cross the finish line.  I am very grateful to have a husband who is willing to journey to these races with me - except when he's sick, lol - and I also have a couple really good friends who are also runners and I've raced with often (Amy and Molly, we must race again soon!!)

Back to the Camarillo race - as I said, it was chilly.  I raced with a short sleeve tech shirt underneath a long sleeve tech shirt, my long-pant-running-skirt from Skirt Sports (dang if I can't remember the actual name of this garment), and running gloves.  I had just been to my stylist for a new 'do on Wednesday, and I am just too vain to wear a hat when I have good hair to show off.  
My race day strategy was to keep with the 2:20 pacer as best I could, trying to stay at a 10:45-10:50 pace for the first half of the race, and then try to bust some negative splits for the second half of the race.  And this time around, I had a playlist of fun, upbeat songs.  Saving my Power Songs for the end of the race, of course, but more about that later.

First 3-4 miles were gravy.  This was a very flat course although somewhat boring...and I was disappointed at some of the terrain on the side roads, because it was quite bumpy and slanted.  There were not volunteers at every turn point, as promised, but this was not an issue in the early parts of the race.  
Getting into the middle of the race, I still felt pretty strong, and very confident that I'd hit those negative splits on the second half of the race.  Then two things happened:
1.  The right side of my right leg started expressing some stress - I could totally feel it in the IT, from my hip to my ankle.  This was a similar type pain from my very first FULL marathon, although that pain was pretty concentrated in the knee area.  I wanted to push through it, and it wasn't so awful that I had to stop, but I was VERY aware of it.
2.  Around mile 9, my Power Songs hit.  DANG IT!  I still have about 40 minutes to go at least!  When the Power Songs kick in, I speed up.  Can't help it.  So I'm pretty sure I peaked at mile 11 and still had a couple miles left.  Which led me to back up the playlist and start them again, but by then I was tired.  DAMNIT!
Eventually, I was passed by the 2:30 pacer, and I was bummed out.  I did my very best to create some kick, but I was pretty tired.  My finish time was 2:33.13 - not my slowest half marathon, but not my fastest either.  And that's okay.  The last half marathon I ran - in April - was by far my slowest.  And 2015 was just not a PR year for me in the running department.
Cut to the chase, McPeak, right?  
I enjoyed this race, but I know I could have done better.  It was actually really great to feel as though I was kicking off the new year with a race, because I DO plan to run a sub-2-hour half marathon this year.  So I give my performance and this race one solid Thumbs Up!!  

Next Race Report:  The LA River 5K on January 24th!  It's a night run, WOO HOO!!

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