Carlsbad Half Marathon

Let me start by reminding you about my last half marathon, for those of you who don’t remember or don’t know.  So it wasn’t the ideal experience due to a pulled IT band and I wasn’t convinced I wanted to do another half again, but my current roommate convinced me last summer to run the Carlsbad half marathon with him. So we signed up, and even moved to Carlsbad, which was fitting!

I had two goals when I started training in November. First, beat my last time (which wasn’t great) of 2:35:12, so just over two and half hours and about 11.5 minutes per mile pace.  My second goal was to finish in 2:11, which would be 10 minute/mile pace.

I really felt like I could do it if I stuck to my training, which I started in Santiago, Chile in November.  I continued on Easter Island, and even ran in Colorado for Thanksgiving. My training schedule was 3-4 days of running a week, with two days of yoga and two days of strength mixed in, and a day off.  The yoga honestly I think helped the most, which runners will hate hearing me say, but I’m serious! It kept my muscles loose and forced me to stretch for 60 straight minutes twice a week.  In total, I ran 193 training miles in 12 weeks with 24 hours of yoga. Try it!

Pre-race photo... a little nervous here!

Pre-race photo… a little nervous!

So back to race day.  It was 56 and overcast with misting rain when Brian and I headed to the race.  Not ideal, but by the time we started it had stopped misting.  He was in wave 2 and just wanted to finish ahead of me (training didn’t happen so much for him, but he’s in good shape anyway). I was in wave 4, so I headed to the back of our group and stretched while the other waves began.  I tweaked my right hip on Tuesday doing my last long training run, so I was a little nervous and didn’t want to go out too fast so it could loosen up.   Since training had been going so well before that, I had in the back of my mind that break two hours would be icing on the cake, but it would mean 9 minute miles… so we’d see.

Post-race photo... happy to be done!

Post-race photo… happy to be done!

Well, mile 1 my time was 10:15, which was WAY slow for my pacing but my hip was okay.  So I picked it up after that and miles 2-11 I was right at 9 minute pace.  The course was mostly along the coast and 8,000 people were running so there was tons to watch and see as I ran.  The marathon had started 1.5 hours before us so we could see and cheer on the elite athletes finishing that, which was fun.  There were bands and aid-stations every mile or so, and I just enjoyed the run.  I could feel my hip pulling, but nothing too terrible until mile 9.5 when we had a hill and I was starting to tire.  I also saw Brian when I was at 5.5 and he was at about 7, which was a nice boost.

By the official finish line :)

By the official finish line 🙂

At mile 11, I saw that I had 20 minutes to finish if I wanted to break two hours, and I remembered that the race is 13.1.  I was feeling alright other than the hip, so I decided to pick it up a little bit and see what happened.  This is when my endurance training came in and I was able to cruise through the next mile.  At mile 12, I was at 1:48 and I felt like I was going to be okay, but you never know.  We got up and over the last bridge and I ran the downhill fairly fast, which I have always done well so I was feeling good.  Then when we passed the 26 mile marker for the marathon and I knew we had 0.2 left, I really opened up my legs (ow!) and finished well.  My watch said I was under two hours but I wanted to wait for official results.

Official time - 1:57:21 :)

Official time – 1:57:21

I met up with Brian and his friend Dahlia who had come out to support and we got our gear (eventually).  Then we headed over to official results and were both pleased to see we’d met our goals! He wanted to break 1:45 without training and he ran 1:44:37.  I was really hoping my watch was correct and I’d been able to break two hours and I had an official time of 1:57:21! Neither of us were too terribly injured, so it was a successful morning. We hung out for a while and then went home to prep for the house-warming party we had planned for that afternoon.  It was a great way to celebrate with our friends and relax after a great run!


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Belinda
    Jan 28, 2013 @ 13:51:43

    I’m completely impressed and so very happy that you had
    such a good experience.

    See you soon on Strawberry Street.




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