I am going to come out with this right away. No point beating around the bush here. I really don’t care for the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll half marathon course.
I ran this race in 2010 and around mile 5 I remembered that I didn’t like the course then either.
Everything was perfect. The weather was perfect. Overcast with clouds. Not too cold. Not too hot. I was injury-free. My legs felt great. I was ready to go. And despite this being my 16th half marathon, I acted like a newbie… 🙂
My original plan was to run with the 2:15 pace group. But then I got caught up with having my Austin friends around and decided to run with some of them. Probably my biggest mistake.
Miles 1-3 – Going out way too fast keeping up with my running friends Arek and Jessie.
Mile 4 – We are entering the highway area. We are now running on the freeway concrete for the next 4 miles. I start to remember why I didn’t like this course in 2010.
Mile 5 – I have a melt-down. I never reached the bite-me stage this early. But I am pretty much done with the race at this point. The concrete of the freeway is getting to me. I am hating running. I am hating the race. I never want to run again. Ever.
Mile 6 – My friend and Team in Training coach, Rob, gives me a big hug and walks with me for a while. I finally get my composure back and decide to move on to get this race over with.
Mile 7 – My running friend Jessica comes up to me and helps me through the next 1.5 miles. She shows me where she used to live in San Diego and this will be my fastest mile today. 9.16 min/mile – that’s freakishly fast!
Mile 8-11 – I am trying to find a rhythm and just fail. We are finally off the freeway and running becomes bearable again.
Mile 12 – The 2.15 pace group catches up with me (I started in an earlier corral). At this point I decide to keep up with the pace group and finally find a rhythm. The last mile is perfect. Perfect speed. I find my rhythm.
Mile 13 – Finish in sight. About time! Loving running again. But not this course. San Diego, beautiful city, but your Rock ‘n Roll half marathon course sucks. Never again!
Despite really not liking the course, there were a lot of positive memories. I love the Team in Training coaches on this course. There are plenty and they look out for all of us. A few ran with me for a short while making sure I was doing ok (they must have seen the look on my face…).
Despite all the suckiness of this course, I ran my second fastest race ever, even though I walked quite a bit. My running pace must have improved. 2:23:28.
I loved seeing so many Team in Training runners out there. 2,500 purple jerseys. What a team!
And of course, post-race recovery. There is no better guilt-free pleasure than a large chocolate milkshake (this one consisting of a gallon of chocolate ice-cream), a burger and fries.
The plan for my next race is to run with the 2:15 pace group. Please, my dear friends, remind me of that! 🙂