|Best birthday present to myself ever!|
Yesterday morning, I was not feeling the race at all. I had gone to bed past midnight and didn't want to wake up at 5AM in order to make the 7:00AM start.
So I snoozed until 5:30AM and grabbed a quick breakfast of pita bread with cheese and headed out the door. I had never had pita and cheese before a run before, but I figured it would be fine.
When I got to Venice Beach, the whole place was packed. It was quite an experience, since I've only really done small local races before. But I liked the atmosphere and seeing all the runners. Before the race started, it wasn't quite light out yet, but I decided to wear sunglasses just in case it brightened up. The real reason was that I have never worn prescription sunglasses before, and I wanted to try them out. Probably not the best idea to try new things like a new breakfast and new glasses on race day, but it turned out okay.
|You know you're cool when you have sunglasses on even though it's dark.|
The worst part of the morning was trying to decide on a race strategy. I thought I might be able to hold a 9:15/mile pace, but I didn't know what my pacing strategy should be. So I did what I'm not supposed to do. I decided to try and hold a 9:00/mile pace for as long as possible and then positive split to a 9:30/mile or so pace later in the race. I figured, this would average out to a 9:15/mile.
|For the most part, I stuck with the plan. I did end up positive splitting when I got tired.|
|Right at the end when I looking at my medal and also for a trashcan where I can throw up.|
After mile 10, I really wanted to walk for a bit. But since there was a clock by every mile marker, I knew that it was in the realm of possibility to make it under 2 hours. Whenever I wanted to quit, I reminded myself how sucky it would be to have to hold to a 8:55/mile ish pace for the first 9 miles all over again in a future attempt to come under 2 hours.
So I just gritted my teeth and pushed on. By start of mile 12, the balls of my feet were so sore that I couldn't pick up the pace at all. In a last ditch effort, I started heel striking. I'm usually a ball striker (hee hee). But seriously I prefer to stay on the balls of my feet to prevent knee pain, but I figured a mile of heavy heel striking wouldn't hurt.
There was a really nice downhill in the last 0.5 miles, which was awesome. So I came in under but close to 2 hours, heavily heel striking, but I remembered to raise my arms up in the air at the finish line. I also smiled and waved at all race photographers I saw.
|A brand new PR!|