I had never run a 15k distance race before Saturday. I really enjoyed the 15k and would definitely do it again, but my favorite is still the half marathon. I didn’t feel the need to train as hard or diligently as I would for a half (although 9.3 miles is no walk in the park). It was the first race (other than 5k’s) I didn’t follow a specific training plan for. My goal was to finish under a 9:00/mile pace. I wasn’t entirely confident I would meet it since I only managed to get in a few long runs after the Wine Country Half Marathon back in May which I ran at a 9:06 pace.
The race start time was 8:15am and only a 5 minute drive from our house, so I didn’t set the alarm to get up any earlier than the twins usual 6:30am wake up time. Nice, a race that wouldn’t break our usual morning routine. Well…not to be. AAA woke up screaming at 2:00am which is highly unusual for him (they both finally started STTN 2 months ago). I blame it on the three teeth that just started poking out of his gums (tried to get a picture, but he’s the stubborn one). K and I blame everything on teething. We tried to get him back to sleep in his crib, but ended up putting him in our bed. Our king size bed is barely enough for K and I who are both space hogs so putting an almost 1 year old baby between us makes for a rough night of sleep. Well for K anyway…
I had my go to pre-race breakfast (really the same thing I have most mornings). Toast with peanut butter and bananas. I could probably live off of just peanut butter and bananas.
K and the boys dropped me off at the start line which was about 1/2 mile from the finish at San Marcos High School and before I could get much of a warm-up in, we were off and running. The first four miles flew by and I felt really good. Like really good. I looked at my iphone and saw my pace was around 8:30. I tend to go out too fast, especially when racing, so put on the brakes a little. I kept repeating the mantra “slow it down” to myself over and over and despite feeling like I could pick up the pace, spent the next couple miles holding back afraid of going too fast and burning out by the end. The race is advertised as flat and fast, but was a little more challenging than I anticipated. There was a moderate hill between mile 5 and 6, nothing compared to the hills I run around Hope Ranch, so no biggie. I started to lose a little steam around the 8 mile mark, but found my mojo again by mile 9 into the finish.
All in all it was a great race. It was well organized by the Santa Barbara Athletic Association and was the 61st running making it the Central Coast’s oldest race. Some elite local talent competed in a fast field of about 225 competitors. The female winner, Annie O’Donnell, finished in a blistering 58:29. I’d like to be in her shoes for a day. 🙂 No matter what place I end up in or pace I record, I feel good if I’ve given it my all and left nothing on the table. I accomplished my goal finishing in 1:21:35 at a pace of 8:46. Although I was thrilled that this put me back on par with my pre pregnancy race pace, I couldn’t help but feel like maybe if I didn’t play it conservative I could have come in faster. My achy legs later told me otherwise. I was disappointed there were no finisher medals to add to the collection, but these days the best part of racing is seeing these two when I cross the line.
I’m so glad that I did this race and feel stronger then I ever did before. It will be on my calendar again next year for sure. Afterwards we hit the beach to BBQ and celebrate America’s birthday.
Up next my return to triathlon (sorta) with the Santa Barbara Triathlon TriTheLabRelay. Can’t wait!