USA Half Marathon Race Report

It was a fun and quick trip to San Diego for half marathon #5 (#3 post pregnancy) the USA Half Marathon Invitational.

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This race was the first half marathon that you had to have a qualifying time for, although the standards were not nearly as tough as Boston. The race director for Boston was one of the organizers of this race, so I thought it would for sure be a well organized, fun race. I was not disappointed

When Friday morning rolled around the usual scramble was on to get all our stuff packed and ready to go.

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We made it out the door around 9:00am (later than planned) and in our haste forgot our phone chargers and the iPad. Yikes! No Mickey Mouse Clubhouse to entertain the boys on the 4 hour drive. Someone please tell me what parents did to keep kids quiet on road trips before all this technology was available?? 🙂

It was pretty smooth sailing (with the exception of the usual 405 backup in LA) down to SD. We arrived around 2pm and stopped by the expo to pick up my race bib first.

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I was expecting it to be bigger, but we got right in and out, then headed to the hotel a few block away to check-in.

We met up with my mom and Papa John (that’s what we all her longtime boyfriend) for my traditional pre-race pasta dinner, then took the boys down the street to Chuck E. Cheese for the first time. What a mad house! The boys loved it though and were not happy when it was time to leave.

Back at the hotel I prepared all my race day essentials: Lululemon Speed Shorts, Nuun Energy for hydration, Garmin Vivoactive, Momentum Motivate Wrap, CEP Compression Socks. Then it was lights off at 8pm.

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With a race start of 6:00 am, it was extra nice that the start line was just a few blocks from the hotel we were staying at, the Westin Gaslamp.

I headed out at 5:40 am careful not to wake any of the boys (K included). It was a quick 5 minute walk, so I had plenty of time to warm-up and stretch before the gun went off.

Everyone was supposed to get into the corral marked with their estimated finish time. There were no real “corrals” so I squeezed in with the group near the 1:45 pacer. Unrealistic (I knew that) but there is power in wishful thinking right? It’s a goal I’m (hopefully) not too far off from achieving, plus it didn’t seem like anyone was really too concerned about being in the correct corral (except of course the super speedy at the very front). There were a modest amount of runners… around 2,500.

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With Adele’s “Hello” blaring through my earbuds I crossed the start line just a couple minutes after 6.

The first mile was easy peasy. Mile 2. Bam! Hit with a monster hill. Actually I was happy that most of the hills on this course were early on in the race. I always go out too fast. Having a few hills to contend with helped to keep my pace in check, and there were plenty of hills on this course.

My splits for the first four hilly miles:

1 – 8:00 (too fast) my watch was acting up so I was running by feel and adrenaline, but I set a new 400m PR!

2 – 9:15

3 – 9:04

4 – 8:59

I checked the elevation map before the race so knew the course would be flattening out soon which helped me mentally get through those tough hills.

I felt really strong the next four miles so picked up the pace. Splits:

5 – 8:32

6- 8:24

7 – 8:25

8 – 8:58

At around the 10k point I noticed Meb Keflezighi was on the sidelines giving runners in front of me high-fives so I scooted over to get one too — definitely the highlight of the day!

Around mile 9 my engine started to falter, but was determined to finish strong. I was gunning for a PR, so told myself to keep pushing.

Splits to the end:

9 – 9:25

10 – 9:22

11 – 9:08

12 – 9:34

13 – 9:46 (this last mile was a real struggle. I had to stop and walk to regroup)

.2 – 9.13  (the course was .1 mile extra, according to my Garmin anyway).

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My official finish time was 1:59:29. Not the PR I was hoping for, but I ran strong and felt like I gave it my all, so I was happy with that.

All three of my half’s this year were 1:59 something. Not sure why the speed work I’ve been incorporating in my training didn’t reflect in my times for these last couple races.Food for thought.

I spotted my mom and grandma immediately, handed them my phone and collapsed to the ground. Okay maybe it wasn’t that dramatic, but I did sit down for a good 10 minutes before making my way out of the finishers shoot to find my family.

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I’ve decided my body deserves a little off-season rest from serious training before ramping it up again in January for my triathlon in March and full marathon in May.

I’m going to try to just enjoy my runs  without too much emphasis on pace and focus on building strength for the next few weeks.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Gobble! Gobble!

XOXO

Christina

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4 thoughts on “USA Half Marathon Race Report

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