Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Rock N Roll San Diego Half-Marathon Race Recap

This was my very first race that I traveled to and my second Rock N Roll Event, overall it was a pretty good run.

The expo was well laid out with lots of vendors, plenty of room to walk around and it didn't feel cramped at all. That was a change from the Rock N Roll St. Louis Expo where I felt like a sardine. I took my brother and niece with me to the expo, partially because I am trying to get my brother into racing as well, and also because I wanted to go to the Navy exchange afterward.
Me and my niece, I wish Charlie the Tuna would have been running as well...

Parking and Arriving

All of the information they sent out about parking had me concerned that I wouldn't be able to find parking. So I left ridiculously early, had no trouble getting a great parking spot and caught a shuttle to the start line. I did a little breaking and entering on a port-a-potty and got to use a virgin port-a-potty. After that I had a good 1 or so to walk around and kill time. One of the guys that was on the same shuttle as me caught up with me and we chatted for a little while. Overall the starting line was pretty nice, lots of area for everyone to warm up and stretch, LOTS AND LOTS of port-a-potties. About 45 minutes after the official start I crossed the starting line.

Miles 1-4
I was feeling great, I had decided to stick with my run 1 walk 1 kind of, I decided that I wanted to finish sub 3 hours so I needed to run 90 minutes of that, and I would run as long as I could and deduct it from my run balance, it worked out ok for a while. At this point there was a decent amount of spectators, and we where running in mostly in the park so it was nice. I was clipping along with a great pace and knew I was screwed for negative splits.

Miles 5-8
These miles were on the freeway, and I hate running on highways, at one point we even ran up an on ramp, when I realized what was coming up I was like WTH! I really didn't enjoy this part and it was getting hilly and my pace started to reflect that. I was using a pace tattoo from Taz Running and my times just weren't adding up. It was really frustrating to me that the pace tattoo was showing I was behind when my Garmin and math were telling me I was ahead, I am in no way saying that anything was wrong with my pace tattoo, I'm pretty sure I was doing something wrong but it encouraged me to pick things up and move faster.
Pace tattoo for a 2:55:00 finish

Miles 9-12
I started to try to pick up my pace but I didn't feel all that great and I knew I needed to poop. Which explains the 4 minute time difference between my Garmin and my official time. I've never had to poop during a run before and I'm blaming the upset stomach on Denny's, I said I wanted DRY toast you fools! Anyway, I was concerned that my poop break would screw up my PR and so I moved a little faster. Around mile 11 or 12 my pace tattoo, garmin and my brain started agreeing again. 
Yep that's pretty much how I felt
Mile 13 & .1
I don't remember actually seeing the mile marker for 13 but I knew I was close to the end and so I just started hauling. I wanted to make sure I had a PR and I wanted to be under that 2:55:00 mark. I crossed the finish line feeling awesome and my Garmin showed a PR, I just hoped my poop didn't take away my sub 2:55.

Finish Line
Holy Cow! So many vendors, so much food in the finishers area! I couldn't carry everything and dropped my jamba juice. Once I crossed out the runners only area I grabbed my gear bag and started wandering toward the shuttle. I managed to get a free massage before leaving which was fantastic! I couldn't get a call out to save my life thanks to the overloaded cell tower. I made it back to my parking area without difficulty and headed back to my brother's.

I enjoyed the race. This was my first travel race and the first race where I didn't finish were I started. I think that the logistics of moving that many people and there gear was very well handled. UPS trucks were used to move out gear which I got a kick out of. I think that for such a beautiful area that should really rethink the 4 miles of freeway running.

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