Sunday, February 23, 2014

San Diego Women's Half Marathon

So yesterday a jog/walked the San Diego Women's Half Marathon. I LOVED this run!! 

This was my first non-Disney half marathon and I have to say I enjoyed it so much! It was only a couple thousand runners. So there were enough people to have the air ignited with the excitement of the event but it wasn't insanely crowded like a Disney run. It was well organized and staffed with scads of volunteers who did an amazing job. 

There were Race Guards running the course and just making sure that everyone was okay. One of my friends is a race guard and we walked together and chatted for a bit until my timer beeped and I started jogging and he jogged off to encourage other runners. 

The course was flat and scenic, running along the San Diego harbor area. The course had ample water stops with some having Gatorade and Gu gels. One volunteer even had packets of salt which was a godsend at mile 10ish when my legs wanted to cramp. 

I did the run by myself. I left my house at about 4:45 after assuring Vern that there was no reason for him to come out and stand around for hours to cheer me on. I arrived about an hour before start time parked and found the porta potties :) Then I found my friend Mary Joe (Joe's wife) at the race guard tent and got a hug and some encouraging chit chat before making my way to the start corrals. I watched the sun come up while waiting to start. 

I'm always struck by the hush that falls over the crowd when out national anthem is sung, and it always makes me cry...this time was no different. 

And then we were off!! 13.1 miles of awesomeness. I ran my race. I chatted with a few ladies along the way. I met a gal from one of my Facebook groups. She was faster and the course criss crossed back on itself in several areas so we saw each other several times during the race, high five'ing each other each time. 

I ran my intervals. I thought about my mom and dad. I thought about a lot of things. I stopped to take a couple of photos. I enjoyed the scenery and the warmth of the sun on my face. I even enjoyed the ache in my legs as my muscles worked. At mile 10 it became tough. My legs started to cramp and I realized I forgot to stick a mustard packet in my pocket....that won't happen again! A sweet lady at a water stop asked me if I wanted a salt packet and I almost hugged her!

Those last 3 miles, Jeff Galloway was in my head saying "Just get through it one walk break at a time" and that's what I did. 

My finish time was a personal best for me. 3:11:05....finally under 3:30 and heading toward under 3 hours!! I am sore this morning but my heart is full and proud. 

Next race is St Patricks Day weekend....1/2 marathon. 

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