Game Day: La Jolla 1/2 Marathon

Before I start, let me just post the elevation chart for this race:
No, your eyes do not deceive you. At 5.75 there is about a mile climb to 420 ft above sea level and we pretty much started at sea level.

I've been running hills in preparation for this race. Although I did know that the hills I was running were in no way comparable to the Torrey Pines entrance and I knew this was a hilly race and that I wasn't going into this for a PR. Apparently, as people have told me, you have your 1/2 marathon PR, then you have your La Jolla 1/2 marathon PR.

So the hills coupled with having a few bad asthma days leading up to this race led me to set my goal at finishing in under 3 hours. Mission accomplished as I finished in 2:49 and some change.

I won't lie, there was a lot of walking. Those bad asthma days made me cautious. I decided to keep my HR under 160 (I did get up to 185 once and 170ish more than once) in an effort to keep the lung work down. I also didn't want to burn my legs up 2 weeks before my first, probably only, Olympic Distance Tri of the season. Oh, and I have the Laguna Hills 1/2 Memorial Day weekend. That will be a breeze compared to La Jolla.

I started off the run with Denise, but broke up with her about mile 2ish, so I could keep my low effort plan in effect. One thing I didn't count on was how fast my HR rises. I think I was running 3 minutes, walking 1+, not counting the hills.

The best thing about this race is the views. You don't get to run alone the ocean for 13.1 miles, but maybe it's for4. The run through Torrey Pines is almost worth the climb, almost because it's too short, then you're into the commercial buildings. I can remember at least 3 times when I thought, this is why I live in California. I don't like hanging out at the beach. Everyone knows I get tan walking outside for 5 minutes slathered in sunscreen, so there's no need for laying out, but I do very much appreciate the cost and knowing I live on (or very close to) an ocean.

I couldn't believe that last small 1/2 mile climb at the end. I was done. I'm pretty sure I ran my shoes passed dead and my right knee and both hips are paying for it. Oh and did I mention the below the knee (I'm pretty sure it was below the knee) amputee chick that passed me about mile 10 and never looked back? Yeah, peeps who thought I was kidding about the challenged athletes kicking my ass, now you know.

The one thing I disliked about this race was the shuttle back to the start. It's a point to point and the shuttles kept getting stuck in traffic. They were supposed to be in a 15 minute rotation, and they may have averaged this, but it was more like 1 shuttle, then 40 minutes, then 3 shuttles. I'm sure some of the soreness I'm experiencing is because of this and the fact that I didn't realize they had gear check. It was more than an hour after the race when I got my Recoverite into me and I only sort of stretched afterwards, because I was always thinking the shuttle was right around the corner.

I think I might do this one again next year. I *would* think about parking a car in La Jolla and getting a hotel room with some peeps like Denise did. (Well, they got a hotel room near the start, I'm not sure they planted a car at the end).


Today's High...

104. At the time I would normally run, 100.

Yesterday's run in 92 degree weather was a better idea. Notice I didn't say good.

That is all


Heat + Sore/Heavy Legs + Hills = Running Fail

This morning, instead of going for my "long" 5 mile run (1/2 marathon next Sunday) or racing the Newport Beach Tri myself, I went to cheer on my Tri Sisters from Tri la Vie. (It's basically the same group of women who were in TriDivas for anyone who follows).

Let me say, I do like being a spectator for Sprint Triathlons. I love being a spectator for the athletes. I don't know if the random people telling me that I look strong, I have sexy legs (Carlsbad 1/2, they were telling everyone), only a few more miles (which I never tell people unless I know EXACTLY how many more miles are left) know how they pick me up and make me want to run or bike (I never quite here anything but yelling during the swim.)

There is one Sis that I'm especially proud of. After having a freak out, hyperventilating moment at the lake (and apparently during the first part of the swim) she powered through, got out of Back Bay and finished her race.

Due to all this cheering, I have a very hoarse voice and I didn't go running until about 1pm. It was about 87 degrees. I decided to run Santiago Canyon, thinking I could refill my bottles from my original hydration belt, at Cook's corner if I needed to. I needed.

In reality it was a run walk. I'm not very proud of my 13 min pace, but I know it's the best I could hope for given hills, the heat and no shade. I actually ran across the road to run in the shade on the way back.

The only reason I even went out at 1pm, was because I didn't want to wait until 8pm and Monday is supposed to be even hotter! I guess it was a good test drive for Iron Girl. Vegas may be that hot at 10 am on May 9th, when I get out on the run course. (First wave starts at 6:30. The waves aren't up yet, but I'm guessing I'm at least wave 3 or 4 with at least 10 minutes between waves, which puts my start about 7-7:10 IF they start on time.)

My biggest fear is overheating. I sweat so much as it is, how much more cooling power does my body have? They will have sponges every aid station on the run. I plan on using those to their fullest potential.

In summary, I suck at running in the heat and I'm already worried about Iron Girl. That is all.


Stud or Crazy

I went to a free Boot Camp workout this morning at the Spectrum, then decided to ride 2.5 hours, Santiago Canyon, a hill repeat (so I guess it's just a hill if there wasn't any repeating) then back to the house and a cool down around the neighborhood.

Am I a Stud or just Crazy. You decide.

I'm supposed to run 5 or 10 miles tomorrow. We'll see how that goes...

The Boot Camp was lots of work, but tons of fun and might be the strength training that I've been looking for. It does meet at 5:30 in the morning, which is a turn off.

Santiago Canyon was beautiful and I had a great time. Yes, people, mark this date down on your calendars. Yasmin actually enjoyed of her bike ride. The weather was great. Sunny, a bit hot, but comfortable. I made it from my house to Chapman in under an hour. The trip back took longer, but it always does. There is more uphill that way. At least that's what I'm telling myself.


Annoyed and Disappointed

Annoyed - I didn't have cash to park at a local Junior College and I didn't want to risk the machines not taking credit cards. I didn't want to waste that time. Little did I know I would be wasting more time.

Disappointed - Woodbridge HS had track practice. RSM Intermediate was finishing up track practice AND had already locked their bathrooms. I'm all for using my car as a changing room, but even I have limits. And getting naked in front of middle schoolers isn't only past my limit, but possibility an arrestable offense.

I ended up at home, running my mile repeats in my neighborhood. I did get to stop by the store and pick up groceries for dinner before I got all stinky, so that's a win, but I didn't get to start my workout until after 5, which was a bummer.

Annoyed - I need to remember that mile repeats should push your running ability, but not kill you. As in, if I run a 10 min pace for a 5K, I probably can't hold an 8:45 min/mile. The under 9 min pace killed me. I could barely hold it for a quarter mile. I don't think quarter mile sprints are going to increase my endurance or mile time...

Annoyed - Got out of work late, headed to the Post Office, not thinking that it would be crazy. It's not like Christmas time, people just need to drop off their taxes, but no, it was crazy. So I nixed it, when to Whole Foods to pick up cupcakes for a birthday celebration, then headed to check out hydration belts. I came home with a hydration belt, that I'm thinking about returning, and new shoes, which I wore today for my run.

Disappointed - Rushed back home from the running store, threw on my swim suit, grabbed my wetsuit, trislide, and headed over to the lake. Jumped into my wetsuit and got into the water, but it was too late. I was pulled out, due to sunset, about 5 minutes before the end of my hour. The lifeguards had been whistling at me and I hadn't noticed. It was kind of ironic that the person that might get our group kicked out of the kick ass venue was actually a person who pays the lake association fee. Nice huh.

I now love swimming in my wetsuit. The full body girdle look is nothing compared to how fast I feel in the water.


Down and Out and Fuel Belts

Well, out anyway. And not that kind of out, I mean out of blogland.

I haven't been keeping up with this lately, and I even had a really good post in my head about my run on Friday. A PSA, if you will, and I'll get to that in a bit.
Much has been going in lately, training and otherwise.

Thursday I found out that it wasn't just the bike, I'm actually getting stronger on it. Yay me. The Cannondale does make things a bit easier, though.

Friday see below. I did get rained on a bit, but only for 10-15 minutes. It was a nice overcast run.

Saturday swam. Didn't get as good of times as I think I should have and my left shoulder is starting to hurt. I'm not sure if that's the same shoulder that hurt last year or not, I'll have to post chase myself to find out.

Sunday I went on a hike/walk at Crystal Cove. I didn't realize I had basically done the whole thing before during the Pac Coast Tri, but I didn't have time to enjoy it like I did on Sunday. It was a beautiful day. I went with my friend Anissa and we saw tons of birds and a bunny!

If the longest run you did the week before was 5 miles, and it was your only run that week, don't try to pull out a 10 mile (or really a 9.5 mile) hilly run as your first (and only) run of this week.

It isn't pretty and your thighs (both hamstrings and quads) will scream at you later.

Also, I'm looking for suggestions on fuel belts. I have an Amphipod runlite 4 (meaning it comes with 4 bottles) but one of my holders, maybe more, doesn't keep the bottles well. They pop/slip out.

I finally broke one of the bottles when it fell out 4 weeks ago and on Friday's run I lost a bottle that didn't snap in completely. I can pay 10 bucks for 2 new bottles or buy a new belt. I've looked at more of Amphipod's belts and found a full tilt that carries 40 oz in 2 bottles plus more storage than my current belt has.
The other one I found was their profile lite 32. Carries 32 oz water, storage much like what I already have.

These pictures were taken from Amphipod's website, in case anyone wants to know.

Suggestions? Keep in mind that I push all of the bottles on my current belt to the back. I hate hitting them with my arms when I run. Anybody?
If I decide to get a new belt, I'll have an old one for sale/trade/free...


Pros and Cons

Yesterday was my first open water swim since Subaru. As some of you know, I've gained a bit of weight since then and was mortified (MORTIFIED) that my wetsuit wouldn't zip up and I'd have to buy a new one. I didn't so much care that my fellow triathletes would see that I couldn't zip up, it was more the fact that I'd have to put out $300 for a new one.

But it fit (pro #1). I got in the water for the beginning of at least 16 laps at the lake (I lost count) and guess what, I could breathe! (pro #2). Not only that, but I could focus on my form and siting (pros #3 and #4). Only 2 cons really, my goggles fogging up 1/2 way through my hour swim and my arms got tired faster. I'm not sure why.

So the work out I've been dreading, really dreading because swimming isn't my favorite and being in a whole body girdle usually makes it less so, was actually pretty fun. I didn't panic. I didn't flounder. I actually felt fast. My shoulder didn't hurt. All in all, it was a win!