Sunday, November 13, 2011

[Sigh] Mission Inn Run Half Marathon

It’s a wonder anyone still reads my blog with all my complaining about races. But I do have some positives – so let’s talk about the good stuff first!

  1. I finally got to meet Pam! And her husband Rocky!
  2. The weather was great – 50-55 degrees and clear
  3. At $40, it’s a very affordable race. And the medal is decent – not generic & cheesy.
  4. There were plenty of water stops also with cytomax (didn’t see any gu/gel).

I think it ends there.

I dragged my ass out of bed this morning at 4am which was tough. The time change effect has faded so 4am felt like 4am. Took off at 5am – one hour and an uneventful drive later, I was parked. Picked up my bib easily and my goodie bag. So, the goodie bag wasn’t really much of anything. It was yet another reusable bag and a plastic water bottle. That’s it – no samples, trinkets, etc. And no coupons or anything which I actually appreciated (I never find anything useful in there – less stuff to clog landfills).

Last weekend I made ghetto arm warmers by chopping off the feet of a $2 pair of knee socks from Target – with shorty arms, they pretty much cover them completely. I wore those as I hit the porta potties and waited for the start. I took them off before the start since it felt warm enough.

We started on time (if not a few minutes early) and I told myself I was not going to go out like a crazy person and then crash and burn. The first 4 miles were  nice – it was downhill through a scenic neighborhood and then into the park.

Mile Time Distance Elev Gain Elev Loss Best Pace
1 8:15 1 0 50 7:10
2 8:23 1 72 14 6:42
3 8:10 1 27 66 6:27
4 8:08 1 23 65 7:04

I don’t remember too much about these miles other than telling myself to take it easy. Considering it was net down, those splits are tame which was the goal. I started eating blocks at mile 3 – one every two miles.

Around mile 5 we turned onto a bike path along a river (I wonder if it’s the same Santa Ana River Trail path?) and the next 2.5-ish miles were probably the toughest, mentally, for me. It was pretty boring and just straight. Also, it seemed there was a headwind but I wasn’t sure if it was coming straight at us or sideways. We were also going gradually uphill. I felt like I was moving in slow motion.

Mile Time Distance Elev Gain Elev Loss Best Pace
5 8:36 1 3 0 7:35
6 8:26 1 21 0 6:10
7 8:23 1 65 47 7:19

The one good distraction was around mile 6 or so – the leaders doubled back. So, I distracted myself by looking for Pam. I think she was 6th or 7th woman when saw her. The turn around was ~ 7.5 miles. Apparently, last year the course continued further down the bike path before turning around… [foreshadowing]

The next 3 miles felt pretty damn good – the wind was at our backs and it was a gentle downhill. I was actually giving myself props for having cranked out 8:2x’s when I realized it had been uphill with a headwind. It was probably the most pleased I’ve been with my myself during a race in a long time.

Mile Time Distance Elev Gain Elev Loss Best Pace
8 8:13 1 62 44 6:39
9 8:08 1 0 33 7:26
10 8:20 1 0 26 7:08

I was picking people ahead of me to chase down and then pass! I felt good, confidence-wise. We left the bike path after mile 10 and it started getting tough (after mile 10 I always find it challenging). But I told myself – 5K left! Thirty minutes, worst case scenario.

Then I saw the mile 12 marker.

Um.

Where was mile 11? Garmin had not even gotten to 11 yet. I had a bad feeling when I saw that sign. I was really hoping it was wrong. I had energy reserved in the tank.

We climbed a beast of a hill at mile 12 – I just kept telling myself I had to keep running, as much as I wanted to walk. A steep hill towards the end of the race is never, ever fun. I passed a couple more people on the hill and when it was flat, I started picking up the pace again. Mile 12 split beeped and I recognized where we were.  I was really hoping there was some secret extra loop we were going to do. I was cruising along at 8:10 pace – I had saved a can of whoopass for this last push.

Turned the corner to see disappointment personified (objectified?). I have never been so displeased in seeing the finish line. I didn’t kick it in because it didn’t really matter. 

I ran down the chute - Pam cheered for me and I yelled out as I crossed the timing mat, “It’s SHORT!!” Duh, I’m sure she knew, too, but I was bummed and tired and could not restrain my inner Captain Obvious.

Mile Time Distance Elev Gain Elev Loss Best Pace
11 8:21 1 7 0 7:29
12 8:51 1 67 0 7:50
0.27 2:11 (8:08) 1 0 0 7:22

12.27 miles, 1:42:25. 8:21 pace.

It was like a hard run, really. I mean, I guess it’s still a race, but it can’t be compared to anything. It’s not like I knew in advance I’d be running nearly a mile less. I ran at half marathon pace, not 12.27  mile pace.

Had it been long enough, I likely would have finished around 1:48/1:49. Close to a non-Fontana PR on a moderately difficult course. I feel a bit robbed.

Just to cap it off in my head that this was really just a long run day, I ran another 2.73 with the dogs to round it out to 15 miles. They are now passed out on the couch – mission accomplished.

So. I’m sorry I don’t have a happy race post. Or a very positive post, in general.  I suppose I can try to avenge my missed PR at Santa-to-Sea in a month.

8 comments:

  1. Great race re-cap! :)

    It was great to finally meet you!! Thanks for taking the time to chat for a little.

    Hopefully, race directors fix the course and make it a for real 13.1 next year! I felt exactly the way you did...when my garmin beeped at mile 11, I saw mile 12...WHAT??! I've ran courses where they were longer (ahem...LONG BEACH 26.44) but, never shorter. It was still a perfect morning run and I was able to say "hello" to a couple of my fellow ragnar team mates and FINALLY meet you!!

    Have a good evening. :)

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  2. I was there too but for the 10k. that one had no issue. so sorry it turned out like that for you. stuff happends and clearly someone made a mistake somewhere, I am sure the race director felt like crap yesterday...this race has been around for over 30 yrs and this is not going to help their reputation...It was my 2nd year and I will be back for the 10 at least..trying to support the few local races we have here!

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  3. Well son of a ___________.

    Way to go on kicking some hiney in a headwind on a hill. Super bummer that you got cut short and don't know how you would have done in the end. You will have revenge at Santa-to-Sea!

    See ya next week at the Turkey Trot!

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  4. I just found you and I think you are cute and fast and - is that your etsy shop on the side /w all the cute knits?? love it!

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  5. Missing mile? Not sure how that would make me feel. Happy that it ended early or mad that it was an incomplete half? That's the weirdest thing ever. Still those are some nice splits.

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  6. course was officially marked as 12.4 (according to the Press Enterprise). First place male finished in 1:3:56(4:52 pace). Ridiculous that he can't even count him time!! He was trying to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics and let's just say he was pretty upset when he broke the tape. According to my husband he didn't want to accept his medal and no one understood why until the other runners came in! When I came in my husband had such a shocked look on his face(it was priceless!!) when he thought I set a 5 minute PR. ummmm...NO..."short course!!"

    Have a great day!! almost FRIDAY!! :)

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  7. just found your blog - what a BUMMER about the race being short, that's so lame! but you still had some great splits anyway! next time, race redemption :)

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  8. OMG. I would have CUT a race director. That is soooo sucky. You'd think if something was in it's 34th year, it'd get certified.

    Man,that sucks... sorry.

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