Sunday, July 1, 2012

La Jolla Half Marathon

A half marathon was something I never thought I would ever accomplish. I used to hate running and doing the mile at school was like pulling teeth. I was one of those people that would walk the track and take 20 minutes to complete what some where finishing in less than 7 minutes!!!! I could never understand how someone could possibly want to go for a run.....I guess this was one of the reasons on why I got fat! :P

Fast forward quite a few years and bring us to 2010. I had finally attempted [and of course completed] my first [sprint] triathlon. I had a blast and couldn't wait to do my next one. During the "run" section, though, I power walked the whole 3.1 miles. Still, running was not for me. I was happy and content with not being a runner and was planning on continuing my life as a "non-runner".

One day that all changed....well, I guess it wasn't ONE day, but something finally clicked in my brain. I had gotten my treadmill to do my "walks" on cold wintery days, or when it rained (which in SoCal isn't very often, thankfully). I decided to give running an honest shot on that thing. Hell, isn't that what a treadmill is run on? It was a hard battle. I had to work hard to just run continuously for 5 minutes. Those 5 minutes didn't even get me to half a mile, but I was always so proud of myself that I could finally run for 5 minutes without stopping to walk. I kept adding more time until I was able to run 30 minutes without slowing the belt down.

Once spring time arrived, I took my running to the streets!!! It was so different than running on the treadmill, but thankfully my stamina that I had built up on the machine was able to push me through a run on the pavement. I started with 3 miles, then worked my way up until one day a friend of mine suggested I do the La Jolla Half Marathon with her!

My friend, Jaimee, was already signed up with another friend and it didn't take much to convince me to sign up as well. Hell, I won't be alone in this journey, so why not! I started upping my mileage until I was comfortable and confident that I could finish 13.1 miles, no problem!!!!

On April 29th, 2012, the hubby and I got up bright and early to set off to La Jolla. I put on my new Lululemon skirt, hot pink tank, and bright pink Nikes!

Too early for flash photography! ;)

Once I was ready I grabbed my fave pre-race breakfast.....a blueberry bagel, Chobani yogurt, and my absolutely favorite drink, Click! If you haven't ever tried Click, I suggest you do. It's a coffee drink with protein in you that high energy caffeine kick along with the necessary protein to fuel you for a great workout! 

I actually drank the Click on the way to the race, but washed my breakfast down with an orange Ultima electrolyte drink. Ultima is great! It is all natural and doesn't have any fake sweeteners (yuck). It has a light taste, so nothing strong. If you are into a strong flavored drink, then you may not care for Ultima too much, but give it a shot! You can buy it online or at your favorite health food store like Henry's/Sprouts, Baron's, etc.....

After eating I was ready to the bathroom that is! ;P TMI, I know, but the worst thing to have happen to you during a race is having to go #2!!!! I made sure I was clear and ready to run! :D Davey and I hopped in the truck and he drove down to the Del Mar Fairgrounds where the race started. The start and finish are at different locations. The traffic was horrific and thankfully my awesome hubby knows his way around that neck of the woods and was able to get us there in no time and only hit traffic at the gate of the fairgrounds. We parked and walked up to the starting area. I, of course, had to pee (again, TMI, sorry) and stood in the long ass line for the port-potties. I finished with only about 5 minutes until starting time. Thankfully they had 2 start times. The first was for the really fast people and the second was for the average people. I am in no way a fast runner, so I waited for the second wave of people to go. The starts were only staggered by 5 minutes, so as soon as the first group was off I got into the huge crowd of people for the second wave. I kissed Davey good bye and told him I would call him when I finished (La Jolla is a crazy mad town with shitty parking and with the race going on it was going to be one hell of a nightmare getting around down there. So, being the "oh so wonderful" wife that I am....hehehe.....I told him he could wait at Del Mar and I would take the bus back to the start and meet him once I was done). I got my Garmin all ready to go as well as my Nike+ app, and waited for the gun to fire! The gun went off and so did I!!!!

The weather was perfect.....overcast, a bit chilly, but perfect. My friend, Lori has ran this race before and knew what I had coming ahead of me. She decided to meet me around mile 4 and run a bit with me just for fun! What a great friend! 

My super amazing friend Lori!

She asked me how long it would take me to get in 4 miles and I told her around 35-40 minutes. She said no problem and that she would be on the lookout for me. At mile 6 was Torrey Pines.....a long hill that continues for 4 miles!!! I wasn't too nervous since I do hills all the time at home, but this was a race and I WAS worried that it would drain too much out of me and make the rest of the run hard. I tried to not think about that and just run.......I can do this!

Every song that came on my iPhone was perfect! The weather was great, and my legs felt amazing!!! I finally came up to mile 3 and realized that I had yet to stop to walk (a new thing for me!). I ended up making it to mile 4 sooner than expected. I don't know exactly how much time had passed since I forgot to charge my Garmin and it died shortly after the second mile! Dammit......oh well, I still had my trusty iPhone and Nike+ app! ;) 

At the end of mile 3, it started to go uphill a bit. We were in residential areas by that point and I looked up at the corner and saw Lori there!!!! Yay! I was so happy to see her!!!! We said hi, hugged, and then started running together. We made it to the beach half way through mile 5 and Torrey Pines was just in the very near future! I decided this would be a good time to eat a Gu gel and drink some Ultima and water that was available on the course. 

Bring it Torrey Pines!
As long as I have food in my hand I am ok! ;P
After snapping a cute photo ;) we made the trek up TP! She pushed me and yelled at me like Jillian Michaels, but I am so glad that she was there to NOT let me stop! I eventually had to stop to walk a bit, but didn't slow down. With my walking, I was still passing people that were running! :D Around mile 8 Lori left me since she didn't want to have to do the climb again to get back to her car. I was still feeling great and was pumped to finish this thing! I stayed hydrated, taking a water and an Ultima at every water station. I seriously was feeling so great! No poo feelings, no full bladder, legs were behaving oh so very well, and the temps never got higher than probably 65! :D

When Lori left she parted me with some encouraging words......"just so you know, and don't freak out, but at the end there is another hill.....". Thanks for that friend......Thankfully I had already researched the course and knew that it was going to go uphill again before we finished......but hey, the finish line was downhill!!!! :D

I received a text right before mile 11. It was the hubby cheering me on. I didn't want to stop to write out "I am at mile 11" so I just quickly shot back with "11" in hopes that he knew what I meant. 2 more miles to go.....that is easy! I can do this! I was so excited thinking about how I only had 2 more miles!!!

The course went uphill, just like Lori had forewarned, but then it was downhill......I could see the finish line. Right as we started the dash to the finish, my left calf started cramping! WTF!?!?!?! Oh no, not now......that is NOT going to stop me! I made a mad dash to that finish line, crossed it, and then walked off the cramp!!!! All was back to great after I stopped running! :) I grabbed my medal, snapped a quick pic, sent some texts, and then called Davey to tell him I was done and that I was heading to the buses!

It's all about the medal!

Such a blast! <3
Official time: 2:11:46

I was finally a half marathon finisher! Something I never fathomed of doing in my life......and now I am hooked! I was so excited that I had signed up for the Menifee Half Marathon at the same time as La Jolla and couldn't wait for those 3 weeks to pass to run my next one!!!! 


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