Monday, April 8, 2013

Santa Cruz Half-Marathon (4.7.13)

Well it started with only about 2 hours of sleep. Which is never good. It wasn't even good sleep.  I even said leading up the race that if I didn't sleep enough, I wouldn't run well.   I did try for more than 2 hours of sleep. I watched TV a little late but then was in bed forever trying to fall asleep. Races always stress me out.

Wes and Hilary picked me up a few minutes after 6 AM.  We got to Santa Cruz close to 7 AM.  It sure was nice not having to drive myself. When we got close, we had to sit in traffic because they were incredibly slow taking the parking lot fee.  I was originally trying to get Dave to go to the race but then I knew if I did, he'd complain a lot, make me drive, and then I'd also have the stress of trying to meet up with Hilary before the race so I stopped bugging him. I did tell myself that now I can get him to go to another race at some point.

By the time we walked to the start, we only had about a half hour to kill.  We picked a meeting place for after the race so we didn't spend forever looking for each other.   It was a bit chilly in the morning.

Hilary and I were running the half marathon that started at 8. Hilary's sister, Emily, was running the 5k that started at 8:30. I wish Wes ran a race but he did not. And he's really good too.

Hilary and I started together. We stuck together until the first water stop. At each water stop, I had to walk to drink water. Hilary would jog to drink the water so she'd get a little ahead of me.  Then I would  be about 20 ft behind her for what felt like forever.  I think I'd catch up after a mile but then a mile later there would be another water stop.

In total there were 6 water stations. Only 1 had Gatorade. The Gatorade was pink and tasted awful.   I definitely felt like there should have been more aid stations.

The weather was 55-65 degrees. I'm not exactly sure. But it was extremely sunny. I had on sunscreen and still got a sunburn on my face and shoulders. I might end up with raccoon eye tan lines if I keep getting burned like this. I kept hearing people talk about how the weather was great but there was no shade so I hated it.

The middle 5 miles were on trails. The trail wasn't that wide so I didn't like it. It was too hard to pass people or catch up to Hilary. She'd be 10 feet ahead of me but really far away.

The finish was on the beach. Some people talked about how awesome that was but I disagreed. Running on sand is a lot harder. That impacted my kick at the end. But then after you finish, you walk around to get food and water and you just constantly kick sand in your shoes. Then I fight with this sand for weeks and it constantly gets on my socks even though I think I get rid of it all.

I previously went to Santa Cruz to run about 7 miles of the course so we knew what we'd be getting into. Well it felt hillier during the race than when we went last time.
We started running way too fast. I told Hilary that but I didn't want to get behind her so we stuck together. After 3 miles we had 9:00 pace. After 6 we had 9:10 pace.  Each time I'd catch back up to Hilary, I'd give her updates on how much time we had left to run.  She'd tell me how her pace would be so slow and she wouldn't make it.  I would cheer her on.   With 2 miles left, I just couldn't keep up my pace. With 1 mile left, I thought I'd speed up but I ended up not doing that.  It was really tough. It was because I started out way too fast. Wes and Emily said it was nice that we were near each other because they could spot us out easier at the finish.

Originally my goal was 9:30 pace to 10:00 pace. I did do better than that but my recent long runs had a pace of 9:30 and a pace of 9:39. Most people say they do a lot better in races than long runs. I don't. I also get told I'm not exhausted enough after a race so I must not push myself enough.

My Garmin said 13.06. My garmin was right on par with each mile marker except between 7 and 8 it was .03 behind. Then I was .03 behind the entire way until the last .1.  Hilary's Garmin was right on at 13.1. I wasn't even running the tangents. Usually long races my Garmin is long not short so this was weird.

I didn't see anyone taking race photos. I saw a few random people photographing but they weren't photographing everyone. I'm a little disappointed by this. I want some pictures.

My plantar fasciitis was bothering me before we started. My toe was bothering me too. My shins started bothering me in the first quarter mile and hurt until about 6 miles in. I got a side cramp that lasted 2 miles. I wouldn't stop to try to get rid of it because I didn't want to lose Hilary. I was just falling apart. I wasn't sure what was wrong with my toe. I have been wondering if it's been broken but not enough to do anything about it.  When I got home, I showed Dave the bottom of my foot (like I do often) and he said "OH MY GOD!" and later admitted that it was the worst he's seen my foot. I've been showing him my swollen plantar fasciia when it gets swollen ever since I first got plantar fasciitis in June 2003.  I did take some pictures of it but it is really hard to capture. (My left foot is swollen too but not as bad. Note that bulge between my heel and ball of my foot. That isn't supposed to be there. I should have a good foot beside mine for a better comparison.
unofficial results
Well there you have it... my first race since moving to California. I want to do some 5ks but around here most races are longer. I want some local 5ks.


  1. Wow, looking at your foot and seeing the times that you ran at I must say that was some race for you. Very good job. No lets make that GREAT JOB!!!!!!!

    1. Thanks. I wonder what my time could have been if my feet were cooperating.

  2. I was wondering how this went. Been slacking on blog reading again. Your foot did look noticeably worse than other photos I've seen of it. How is it now?

    Also: good job.

    1. It's not quite as swollen now but still swollen I ran 2 miles on Saturday and boy did it hurt. There's no way I'll get my mileage goal this month or if I do then I'll be injured for even more months.