I kicked off my 2016 race season with what has proved to be one of my all-time favorite courses in Carlsbad, CA!
I always love the expo for this race, and typically end up leaving with one or two extra (completely necessary) long-sleeve running shirts. I mean, how many is too many?!
On my all out sprint to the clothing section at the expo, I made a quick pit stop for a photo booth style photo-op with some cute props.
Did a bit of shopping, browsed the freebies and picked up my race bib and free shirt.
The tech shirt they gave away this year was white and honestly had a bit less flare to it than they typically do but still a good addition to the collection none the less.
Race day was freezing, as usual. By freezing, I mean So Cal “freezing,” as in 40’s-50’s. Prior to the race, I was wrapped in a hideous old blanket of my Mom’s that I later tossed to her, as she was there as a spectator that morning. That ugly, plaid blanket made one loud fashion statement as I spent the morning waiting in port-a-potty lines!
My goal for this race was to come in under 1:43. My previous PR (also set on this course) was 1:56, but that was before my two boys were born. Oddly enough, I am a much stronger runner now. I was excited to push some limits and see what I could do.
This course is beautiful! The scenic running views and crisp January air are key components for this being a favorite course of mine. I am so NOT a hot weather runner.
The course is mostly flat with a few rolling hills, but don’t worry those don’t really come into play until you’re good and tired. Then they gut punch ya right around mile 8, just in time to knock you down a peg when you’re thinking you’ll likely PR!
Around mile 10.5, my head was giving up. The rolling hills had hit me, I was working at faster paces than I had ever raced at before. Without having a pacer to run with, well, I wasn’t sure how this would end. After passing through mile 11, the song that came on my playlist likely saved me. Typically, I don’t listen to any Medal/Hardcore (baby eating) music as I like to call it, but when the song “Walk” by Pantera came on, it pushed me to wanna do anything but walk. Thought I was givin’ up the ghost there for a minute, whew!
It’s not really a tempo driven song for running, more like just made me wanna break shit! If you have ever run 13.1+ miles, you know that is a feeling you have around mile 11!
I ended up crushing my previous PR and even came under the goal I had set for myself by almost 3 minutes when I crossed that finish line at 1:40.
My sister also came to cheer me on. Yes, she’s a runner too and has run this course before, but she had a different race coming up the following weekend, so she just came to high-five me instead!
Finished off my race morning with lunch (not pictured because it was eaten in the most unlady-like manner, and the speed of yet undoubtedly another PR for me!
Washed that all down with a celebratory beer. How else do you celebrate 13.1 miles?!
The medal this year was a beauty.
See you in 2017, Carlsbad!