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Big Sur Half-Marathon

November 11, 2007

First, let me start off by saying…WE FINISHED! Pokey and I DID IT!

Now a little vent – I hate it when you take the time to draft a post and it goes *poof* Somewhere out in cyberland between San Jose and Livermore I lost my mobile Internet connection here and well, my beautifully drafted post disappeared. So, I’ll start again.

It was a great run today. The weather was perfect the course was beautiful and there was great company.

Chet and I found a wonderful campground in Monterey so we stayed in the camper and were nice and cozy. My alarm went off at 5:00 a.m. this morning. I was not in the mood to get up. It was an okay nights sleep, but I would wake up periodically to the rain just pouring down on the camper. Every time I would think to myself, I hope it’s not raining like that tomorrow. So, after lingering in bed for a while longer, my bladder screaming at me, I got my butt out of bed and got ready for the day.

We got down near the race start, parked and walked to a little local coffee joint we had seen the day before. They weren’t opening until 6:00, so we waited a couple of minutes while the flood of runners filled the shop in not less than 45 seconds. *Note to coffee shop owner: On the morning when you expect not less than 6000-7000 runners and their friends/family in town for an event, you might want to consider opening a wee bit earlier and you may definitely wish to consider having one or two additional employees for the rush. If we had had to wait any longer we would have gone to Starbucks just for the sake of convenience.* After getting our coffee, I realized I had left my timing chip in the truck, so I headed back picked up my chip, called Karen and we went to meet them at the hotel.

On to the hotel, I was explaining to Chet where the race start would be, about a block down from the hotel Karen was staying. Imagine my surprise when as we approach the hotel, our little starting group (Group “D”) was staged practically at the front entrance doors.

We meet up with Karen and Rick chatted for a while and eventually headed out to our Pokey designated area. Amazingly, I forgot to pull the camera out of the bag. What a pain. So, I’ll have to wait for Pokey to forward me the pictures Rick took of us.

At the waaaay back of the pack we hardly noticed that the race had started. Down the road ahead you see the movement of bodies and that was our cue to stop blabbing with our husband and go run. About four minutes after the official start of the run we made our way over the start line and off we went. The course started out going north about a 1/4 mile, then looped back around to almost exactly where we started to head south and do the run. Our first mile split was just under 13 minutes, which was not bad, and I was glad for it as we didn’t go out to fast.

The course headed down to Cannery Row, past the Monterey Aquarium and then down the coast. The sun was out, the sky was blue and it was just beautiful watching the waves crash along the shore. Before I knew it, we had hit the 5 mile mark. I was feeling awesome! Karen suggested we do a 3:00 min. run/:30 second walk combination for the race. We did this after the first 2-3 miles and continued that schedule for most of the run. I think it worked very well.

My nuroma thing on my foot hurt like heck. And ironically, every time we stopped on the walk breaks, it hurt WAY worse. I mean, it was one of those things where I literally would think to myself “I would rather keep running.” But, I knew that for the long haul, particularly given my utter lack of training, this methodology was a much better idea. But, I’ll freely admit, there was many many many a time that I really wanted to just be like no, let’s keep running.

We made our way further down the course, enjoying the warm sunshine and views. But, somehow I cannot explain how from mile 6 to the turn around at mile 7 seemed like the longest mile of my life. It was purely mental, but it was practically agonizing. All these people are coming at you (never mind the fact we’d been seeing them for a couple miles by now) and you know that you have to be getting closer to the turn around, but the route keeps going and going and going, making you desperate. Then, at the beating of the drums (there were various musicians and musical groups along the course) you see it – the turn around. Ohh, hallelujah. And there’s Rick and Chet cheering us on. We make the turn around and head back the way we came. The route back took us along a nice multi-use path and back to Monterey. It was just beautiful. As we’re nearing the finish, on the beach are several sea lions sunning themselves on the beach. Finally, we can see the finish line and into the finish we go. It was awesome!

Now, for some honesty. My training, or complete lack there of, was not good. I should have been more prepared, or even remotely prepared. Not doing jack for the past 5 months did not help me out one bit. I’m so darn sore. I can hardly extend my knees so walking is rather challenging when my knees refuse to bend. My core muscles are going to be reminding for most of the week of my lack of preparation. My hips are pretty tight and so that doesn’t help my walking, but I think they’ll be okay in a day. My feet where I have that weird nuroma thing hurt pretty bad too. So I’ll have to keep playing with my insoles and how we’re building them up to find the right fit.

This was an awesome trip. I’m really happy we came down to do it. And, I’ve got my finisher medal and t-shirt, so I’m stoked. I did it. Now, I need to get running again. I have really wanted to the past couple weeks, but the cold from down under didn’t help me at all, but it’s time to get training if I want to even contemplate running Way Too Cool.

Karen did totally awesome. I’m extraordinarily proud of her. Her calf really started to bother her later in the run, but she was a trooper. I think I only witnessed one complaint from her, and that was about her water bottle that she kept forgetting to close and then she’d spill it down her leg. I’m really glad that she suggested the run/walk idea because I think it saved my bacon. And it was just downright nice to go out and spend a few hours with her.

Success times two! It’s a good thing.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 15, 2007 7:49 PM

    Congratulations! I’m impressed that you’re already talking about running ultras.

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