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RRS Craft Classic San Diego 2017

Last year I said this course was harder than the La Jolla half marathon, but then I did La Jolla again and started second guessing. After completing this race again, I still can’t decide. It’s a toss up. The Road Runner Sports Craft Classic in San Diego is a pretty tough course. It’s basically a 10k race, and then you die. See elevation chart below:

Because it’s a hard course, I didn’t have my heart set on a PR. My time goal was sub 1:30, I was aiming for a top 5 finish, and I wanted to keep my heart rate steady (pace myself) and my head focused on form. One of the perks of this race is free photos, but they aren’t up yet, so we’ll see how I looked, but I felt like I was doing better with gait, posture, and arm swing.

Having to use the shuttle service, I got up at 4:00 a.m. on race morning. I got to the start line without a hitch, feeling good, staying calm, and ready to run. I watched my splits for the first few miles, but made sure I was listening to my heart rate. When the first set of hills came, I still felt strong. The big hill was a struggle to get up, but once it leveled off, I was impressed at how quickly my lungs AND legs recovered. I finished in 1:32:37 feeling like I paced myself well. Despite not meeting my time goal, I didn’t know what I would have done differently. I placed 4th overall, and after chatting with the top female, realized that everyone was a little slower than usual. Maybe it was the humidity, maybe it was a bit warm, but regardless of time, it was still a good workout.

Final Stats

25th of 1099 overall

4th of 562 female

1st of 89 age group

 

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San Diego Half Marathon 2017

Going into this race, I was pretty excited. I felt like I had good training gains, despite not quite getting my pace back from before my “end of season” break. This race last year gave me my personal best to date, and I was ready to PR again.

Something else that I was trying to keep in mind was that for the previous year’s race, I hadn’t had the four weeks off running at the same time. My break was earlier in the year, due to a January marathon. So, trying to pay attention to the differences in my body and training paces was important to me. All things considered, I felt like I had a 1:23-1:25 half marathon in me.

The morning of the race I felt tired, not sleepy tired, but my legs felt tired. I had had a long day at work the day before. Figuring that my adrenaline would take care of it once the race started, I wasn’t too concerned. During the first three miles, I avoided looking at my Garmin in order to simply focus on steadying my pace and breathing – finding my “groove.” But after mile 4, I could tell I still started a little too fast. I tried to focus and regain control as best as I could. I steadied out, but couldn’t find the “comfortable” burn I was looking for. The feeling of light and smooth eluded me. There was a big hill at mile 9, and after that it was a smooth downhill finish. However, I still couldn’t get my legs to turn over like they should have. I finished the race realizing I just barely beat my previous time by a mere 36 seconds. This disappointment set in. It wasn’t a good effort, and I knew it. I didn’t feel exerted enough, but my legs were so heavy. You can’t have a good race every race, and I’m not saying it was a bad race. But I think I had more in me at my current level of running fitness.

Regardless of my disappointment, it was still a slight personal best. All I can do is keep learning and reflecting. Real progress is coming in the year ahead – I can feel it in my bones. For now, I’m looking forward to a hopeful redemption race with a 15k in a few weeks.

FINAL STATISTICS

Finish Time – 1:27:51

Overall – 89th of 5044

Female – 14th of 2701

Age Group – 4th of 462