Since this is a 3.5 mile long course (trail runs are difficult to get to an exact 3.1) I didn't have too many expectations for the day. As part of my half marathon training, the schedule calls for you to race one 5k and one 10k distance during your training. I wanted to go out and have a nice solid run and be thankful that I was only running 3.5 versus 6 miles. It was also a great opportunity to wear my new Emergen-C branded shirt and hand out samples post race. Being part of the Emergen-C team means that I will wear their branded logo and hand out samples at events that I participate in.
This year, I followed their advice when they said if you expect to finish in the top 1/3 then line up in the top 1/3. I didn't want to make the mistake I had made in 2011 and get stuck behind walkers. As we hit the paved section of the course we were off to a fast start, a little bit faster than I wanted to be considering there would be hills later. A young boy was running and dropped his iphone and didn't notice it. So I yelled out "you dropped your phone!" To his parents, you are welcome.
As we hit the boardwalk section of the course, the drought in CA really struck home. This is what it looked like in 2011.
This is what it looked like this year.
After feeling slightly sick to my stomach, I returned to focus on my running. Ironically in the photos below, the woman in green passed me and I tried to so hard to catch her at the finish line! I was so close!
Most of the run I found someone to tuck behind and maintain a pace. I had been behind this gentleman for a good part of the race, the guy in gray shorts. There was a 6 year old boy and his Dad who were playing leap frog with me. They would walk and I would pass them, then they would run again and pass me, I am familiar with his strategy. Eventually it appeared that the gray shorts guy was pacing slowing down, so I passed him and had to find someone else. As I worked on finding a new buddy, the 6 year old boy and his Dad's run pace had also slowed down as we were running uphill. Sadly, they were running two wide which made it difficult to pass them. Eventually, I found a spot and said "hey buddy, I'm going to pass you now" which meant, please don't dodge back in front of me as I pass. I had to laugh as his Dad said to him "You're just letting her pick you off like that?" I figured they were probably using me as marker in my brightly colored Emergen-C shirt. Eventually I found my own brightly colored to pace off of.
Thank you to the lovely woman in yellow for being a pace buddy. At this point my body seemed to tell me that I was running to slow and to pick up the pace. So I did. Lots of great scenery to enjoy on this course but I wanted to be done.
Once I hit the section of the course that I had warmed up on I knew it was time to sprint to the finish. The lady in the green shirt was in front of me and I tried so hard to catch her, but I ended up finishing one second behind her.
Overall, I'm very pleased with the how day went. A 7:25 course PR, which can be attributed to Brazen eliminating the single track portion of the course, being faster, the ability to run hills versus walking them, and a lot of hard work over the past three years!
|We'll do it again next month!|
*Course photos courteous of the numerous Brazen volunteers taking awesome photos!