Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Rodeo Valley Half Marathon - Like a Dream

Inside Trail Rodeo Valley Trail Half Marathon, Saturday March 16

Distance: 13.1 miles

Time: 2:57:38

The race went by like a (literal) dream.

Pre-race: I arrived back at my place in SF around 4 AM, and set my alarm for 7:30 AM. Surprisingly, I woke up with no trouble, got dressed, and drove back to Rodeo Beach for the 8:45 half marathon spot. No trouble parking. When I checked in, Janeth switched me down to the half marathon distance by writing on my 50K bib. There was an issue with bathroom lines, so the race started ~10 minutes late. There was time to catch up with Rosie (running the 30K), and some joke around pictures with Karen. I hadn't showered as there was only a ~5 hour gap between finishing one half marathon and starting the next.

Correction: the prior night I'd only run a 20K. We made up the mile by starting up Hill 88 in a thick fog, and turning around Janeth. As I started up the hill, it was impossible for me to force my legs into a jog. I walked up the hill, and fell into step with a new friend from the prior night, Tauyna. She was even crazier than me, and had run til after sunrise(!) and then slept in her car at the start (!!!) to help train for Zion 100. 

On the descent I felt better, and plodded along Bunker Road to Coastal Trail in a relentless forward jog. However I walked almost all of Coastal Trail up to Conzelman, saying encouraging words as various green clad runners passed me. 

"At least you're not on the couch" - photographer chiding me as I refused to break into a run as I  plodded uphill into Conzelman road aid station. "C'mon, can't you run a little bit for the photo?" he asked. Me: I ran a half marathon yesterday, I'm NOT RUNNING RIGHT NOW, OK???

Then the fog started to lift, and I had a gorgeous downhill on Marincello. Karen, Coach Ken, Catra & Truman (Catra's dog) were ably staffing the Tennesee Valley Aid Station. I'd listened to Paul Oakenfold's "Goa Mix", the perfect sountdrack to my sleep deprived state. The whole race seemed like a dream -- a beautiful dream of hills and trails and pretzels.

On the last climb up Wolf Ridge, my competitive spirit reignited. I passed a few runners into the finish, even holding off a surge from a 30ker. [this isn't much of an accomplishment as he'd run 5 more miles than me with only ~20 minutes advantage]

Things I did well:
Said thank you to volunteers
Said encouraging words to fellow runners
Ran on tired, sleep deprived state

Things to improve on:
I got a bit hot in my long sleeve, but the weather could have gone either way.

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