Carlsbad Half Marathon Recap…Wins and Losses

27 Jan

Today was the day! FIRST race in 2013…..as well as my first official race since NWM. I’ve been running plenty since NWM, but for financial purposes (aka I’m a dance teacher who lives on minimal funds) I’ve held back from signing up for anything in recent months. Saving for all my 2013 plans and I have know idea how I’m going to afford all those races.

Anyway – I’ll just come out and say that Carlsbad was just an average race for me. It wasn’t my best and it wasn’t my worst. It just kinda….was. And that’s disappointing for me. Because in the back of my mind I was hoping for a PR and REALLY hoping for a sub 2 hour race. Neither of which I got. I had hoped to cross off one of my running goals for 2013 first time out the gate. BUT we move onward from here. No dwelling on it since technically it could be viewed as a training run for Austin marathon (which is in 3 weeks). Just figuring out how to do better and working on it!

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This morning I woke up and had mixed feelings about the race. I had this PR thought in the back of my head and I honestly feel like it ended up being like a noose around me throughout. Got up and dressed, grabbed a banana, took care of bathroom business (we’re grown ups here so deal with it….and if you’re not a runner and don’t want to deal with it…TOUGH) and headed out to grab myself a small coffee. I need caffeine people.

Pre race I got to meet up with some fellow Team Victorious team members!

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We were small but mighty this event!

After that, I dropped my bag at gear check (bad decision) and headed to my corral. I was in Wave 3 and was able to move in at the very front of our group. One thing I liked about the event management here was that they held the corrals back. Actually gave them plenty of space. I mean Wave 2’s area was big enough that the ENTIRE back of it was empty and I could get in front of Wave 3 for a snapshot.

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The first 3 miles of this race were mentally tough for me. I kept a decent pace the first 3 and wasn’t feeling super exhausted, but my right hamstring was tight and I just kept thinking about the Sub 2 goal. The 9:11/min mile pace. The noose was lightly hooked and getting tighter. After those first few miles I kept trying to shake it out of my head. Just let it be the race it is and NOT think about PRs. Just run a good run and finish strong. I have Austin Full in 3 weeks and there is NO need for injury!

At the half way point I was actually doing really good. If I kept the pacing up I could’ve PRd. Not hit the Sub 2, but definitely close to it! THEN the stomach issues reared their ugly head. I have faced significant challenges in my races with the runners trots. It is not fun. BUT it happens. it comes on quickly and rather than risking it and having REALLY bad issues without a bathroom in sight I take my chances when I get them. Well this race I had to stop twice. With significant issues. Waiting for the line, using the restroom and then getting back out. I’ve suffered through this in SO many races that today I’d already made the decision that I would stop my own Nike+ watch when I stopped for restrooms so I could officially see HOW MUCH time I was losing. We’ll get to that later though.

Anyway – The rest of the race itself was kinda uneventful. The crowd support was so-so. There were definitely areas that had more people but I felt for the most part that it kinda lacked. Not many bands, or cheer/dance teams, or other groups out to help keep people motivated. I mean don’t get me wrong, the route was beautiful…

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But it just didn’t do it for me. The course was an out and back route so maybe THAT did it. Maybe I’m coming off of my last race (NWM) where its just GIGANTIC. Signs everywhere, LOTS of people. So this course just seemed to be lacking for me. It could also be the fact that I was SO focused on the PR that I just didn’t allow myself to enjoy it.

Overall though it was a decent race. I actually ran into some of my Team V sisters out ON the course (always a nice pick me up during the race), as well as seeing my new Sole to Soul sisters out at Mile 3 and Mile 10. They definitely helped perk my spirits.

AND – to end the race I had my fastest mile pace which is how it SHOULD be. You can see my split times and can tell where on the course I was having stomach issues (what can I say they slow me down)

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Post race I caught up with a couple of my favorite people for photo opportunities

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And to grab my bag from gear check. WORST PROCESS EVER! Thank GOD for the nice people at the far end of bag check. These volunteers were standing around waiting for the higher bib numbers to return and were able to grab my bag rather quickly. ALTHOUGH a few of them tried pushing us off to the HUGE crowd that was around our normal bib number range. I mean I get it….but USE your volunteers EFFICIENTLY! 

Then it was on to a celebratory post race breakfast with a fellow Team Ver. It was delicious! And why YES that is a bloody mary. De. Li. Cious. Deal with it.

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So those are the wins for the day. Not to mention this weeks runs put me into the BLUE LEVEL on Nike+! WOOT WOOT! And I have also officially hit 100+ miles for the month. Most consistent training I’ve done to date. Most miles in a month to date. WOW!

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SOOOO. Onto the stomach issues. What needs to be fixed and figured out before the next half. As I said earlier, I’d already made the decision that I would stop my own Nike+ watch when I stopped for restrooms so I could officially see HOW MUCH time I was losing.  Well – Today I RAN the Half in 2:03:34, which WOULD have been a race day PR for me. Official time…..2:10:42. That is SEVEN minutes of lost time due to my stomach issues today. WHAT?! I hate it.

My very BEST race was Disneyland Half this past Labor Day. I had a chip time of 02:05:51. This race ALSO included 2 bathroom breaks. If today’s race is any indicator…I would have had a sub 2 hour race at Disney if I hadn’t had the issues.

So HOW do I fix this? Is it monitoring food the night before running more closely? Using something on race day? Getting up even EARLIER to make sure I get more restroom time? What do YOU do to fight stomach issues? I’m all ears people!

2 Responses to “Carlsbad Half Marathon Recap…Wins and Losses”

  1. puddingthedamageon January 27, 2013 at 7:25 PM #

    some races are like that… and i hate that! 😦 i know it takes me a little while to get over it, but i usually find the best therapy is another race. i am my own worst (best?) competitor! you had a great race despite everything!

  2. Stephanie January 28, 2013 at 10:58 AM #

    I definitely have runner’s trots issues from time to time and yep, the food I eat the day before is usually the culprit. That’s why Saturday, before the race (especially a FULL!) I was totally neurotic about not having anything that was “unusual” which really meant something I hadn’t eaten on a Friday during training!

    I agree that while Carlsbad is a beautiful course, it’s not the most exciting. Especially if you’ve done one with great crowd support, this can be anti-climactic.

    Now that the full is behind me, I definitely want to focus on getting my time down in the half marathon. Back in the day I was able to break the 2 hour mark once, but that was like 7-8 years ago. My first half marathon in recent memory was 2:11, so I definitely have some minutes to shave off.

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