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San Diego Holiday Half Marathon

My last race in San Diego as a local. I’m sad that I’m leaving a group of ladies that I had just begun to get the privilege of knowing, but ready to take on new challenges in a new city.

Even though training for this race was sporadic and lacked any sort of schedule, I knew I had succeeded in keeping my fitness gains from my race in New York. The runs that I did get in, showed splits that I couldn’t replicate in training before and I didn’t feel like I was trying that hard. My goals for this race were a new personal best, to “find the grind” at 6:20s, and to forego using any carbohydrate supplements (to test how my body was doing on efficiency and adapting).

The course was advertised as a “potential PR” with a net downhill of over 700 feet. The weather was perfect, starting in the low 50’s with cloud cover that swore the temperature wouldn’t break 60 degrees. My warm-up felt really good, but I was slightly concerned about what my tummy was up to. For dinner the night before I had eaten food I don’t normally have. I know it’s stupid, but we were invited to a friend’s house and I didn’t want to be rude. But unless things really took a turn for the worse, when the gun went off I was pretty confident I would have a good race.

The first few miles were a bit faster than I had planned (go figure), but then I started to settle into a pretty good pace, though it was slower than I wanted. The course was actually harder than I thought it would be, with many rolling hills. I guess I expected to practically be falling the last half of the race with all the hype I’d heard about how fast the course was.

At about mile 7, I started to get some stomach cramps on and off. They weren’t too bad, but I’d hoped I could hold off through the finish. My legs were a manageable burn, and I was on pace for a solid PR. I wasn’t feeling any negative effects from the lack of carbohydrates and was pretty pleased at that – I had come a LONG way from my ulcer days.

With just a few miles left, I struggled to hold the pace but kept pushing. Not much longer and “Whoa, the finish?!” There it was, two whole tenths of a mile short – DARN IT! After checking around with a few other racers, it was clear that it wasn’t just my Garmin that was off. The course was indeed 12.9 instead of 13.1. I was bummed knowing that my new PR would be overstated, but chip time is chip time. Regardless, I still would have shaved more than 3 minutes off my previous best time, so at least I can hold on to that. For now, I’ll plan on racing more half marathons with justifiably faster times, but until then I guess my “official” results are:

1:22:59

60th of 2896 overall

16th of 1655 females

6th of 212 in age group

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