The Carlsbad Half from a Procrastinating Oceansider
Holy long overdue-ness. How lazy am I with the posting? Seriously. So, it’s been a week since I ran the Carlsbad Half Marathon and I honestly didn’t have high expectations for the race. Now, I’m not saying I didn’t care at all, because, I’d have to call bullshit on myself if I were to say that. Obviously, I don’t want to end up 30+ minutes off my last time, and would be bummed if I did, but I just wasn’t thinking it was going to be a necessarily good race.
I took off the Friday before my weekend was looking kind of crazy and I figured, even the few hours I got to sit around on Friday would be worth it. The weekend went like this:
Friday, pick up bib and last minute cheap cocktail dress shopping for the weekend.
Friday evening, second to last gig with the band – don’t get home until after midnight (yes, I
am was in a band comprised of coworkers; I sang lead vocals and played keyboards. But I grew weary of the dynamic and constantly feeling stress over something that was supposed to be fun).
Saturday morning, taught two yoga classes and then decided it was “smart” to be on my feet for an hour and a half making home made butternut squash ravioli (I had frozen filling that I had made a few weeks ago and was hell-bent to use it). Then sat on the couch for a couple hours with my knitting.
Saturday, 5pm, we head out to my company holiday party (yeah, we wait until late January – I think because (a) it’s cheaper, (b) it’s not directly linked to Christmas so it’s more religiously ambiguous – that’s my theory). We stayed for 2 hours – just enough time to have the two free drinks and eat some grub. Thank God this year they did drink tickets, as last year it was open bar. All. Night. Long. Wasted, is what I was, last year. Good times. Not so much the next day. With the hangover. Anyway.
Given the above, I really wasn’t expecting to have a good race. I generally like to avoid teaching yoga the day before a race, but, because I transferred my bib in early December, my schedule for January had already been set.
So, we get there in the morning, and my friend goes, “Hey, you and J are in the same wave!” I look down and I see wave 4 on my bib. Wha? I definitely checked the box that said 1:41 – 1:50 on the form. This didn’t necessarily surprise me since the say before they would not let me switch my shirt size as it said I chose women’s XL. Which I didn’t. I figured I would sneak into my correct wave and hope no one said anything. Luckily, wave 2 was not crowded and no one cared. Or else I was considering pitching a fit about the face that I paid $100 and deserved to be in the right wave.
And can I tell you? Starting in the correct wave is the best thing ever. Like, better than a vanilla shake or crème brulee. And I love these things. This was the first time I started a larger race where I didn’t dodge people. It was incredibly freeing!
The rest of the race was kind of a blur. I remember in the first mile we danced with the Oceanside border – ran up the 101 and then pulled a U turn maybe 20 feet from the city limits. Then we got to run up the damn hill into downtown Carlsbad. I run this area nearly every week so that’s probably why I don’t have much recollection of the race other than being surprised at the number of spectators. For a not very large suburban community, north county people really came out and supported the runners (I was proud of us!). The other thing I remember is as we came up towards Palomar Airport Road, I saw the same woman I had seen the last two weeks in a row. Mary Akor leading the pack in the full marathon. I even blurted out to some dude that was huffing and puffing next to me that she had run two half marathons the last two weeks. I could tell he really didn’t give a rat’s ass about the fact that I recognized her. But I felt compelled to tell someone and he was the only person near me.
Anyway, the last few miles were rough – I think partly because you have to climb some long low-grade hills and when you’re tired, it kind of sucks to have these half-mile long inclines in miles 10-11. They were my slowest miles. Here are my splits:
|Mile 2||7:52 (<—err, yeah, too fast)|
|Mile 4||7:55 (<—again, had to tell myself to slow down)|
|Mile 12||8:46 (<—yeah, I was getting tired)|
Ended up running 13.17 miles (close enough), the last little bit at 7:51 pace. Final time 1:48:47! I was thrilled that I was able to get under 1:50 with a normal course (not like a cheater St. George downhill course). Initially, I was 12th in my age group because they had me as 54 years old. Yeah. How royally can they screw up my transfer? I paid $20 and all they changed was my name. I ended up bugging someone from the race results management company to at least fix my age (they have my city wrong, too, but that’s a minor issue). I think I was like 64th of 905 or something like that.
Overall, though, aside from the crappy transfer stuff, the race is really well run. Plenty of porta potties, plenty of race support, aid stations, gu (I didn’t grab any but I saw them at mile 3 and mile 9), not overly crowded. The parking lot situation is a mess, so if you do this race next year, park very close to the exit – it’s better to walk further to your car than have to wait to get out of the parking lot for 40 minutes.
Next up is the Mermaid Half Marathon in Mission Bay in two weeks! Hello, flat course!