I started training for the 2013 Carlsbad Half Marathon at the end of September with the goal of getting under 2:15. I’ve enjoyed training for this. It was a challenge with the speed work, tempo runs, hills and LONG long runs.
Running is therapy. In the beginning of my training, I had a list of people to pray for and dedicated a mile per person. Soon enough I got to the end of my list (especially after the long runs). Then I started to pray for those who needed it. Towards the end of my training I found myself praying and meditating on the rosary. Praying kept my mind off of the physical challenges during my run. It paced me. It also cleared my head and got me ready for the rest of the day. Not to mention I fully believe that I had a few angels with me to keep me safe — especially since I run solo in the dark of the morning.
Because my training runs were longer, I needed to get up earlier so I could run, get the kids’ lunches together, help with clothes/hair, shower and get to daily Mass. I needed lights and upon recommendation from a friend, I got Knuckle Lights:
They work pretty well — much better than my headlamp (that bounces when I run). I like that you can control where the light shines and how they’re more like flood lights. Sometimes I have to run with my back facing traffic because there’s no shoulder or sidewalk on the other side of the street. I just point one light backwards by turning my left hand so that the cars could see me.
Fall and winter training makes for gorgeous sunrises:
I made the mistake of waiting over 700 miles to get new shoes (Brooks Launch). I missed a week of training because of shin splints!
I experienced what it was like to run in freezing temps in December while out of town for a board meeting in Visalia, CA. Even though I wore double layers, my skin turned bright red—almost purple—where I didn’t have a third layer of gear (fuel belt, arm band, etc.). I avoided slipping on frosty sidewalks. I also got lost in farmland. What was supposed to be a 14 mile run turned out to be 16. Thank goodness for GPS (and extra fuel blocks) to get me back on track.
I ran a lot of hills. A. LOT. OF. HILLS. My toenails will tell the story, but I’ll spare you the photos. When you live at the base of a mountain, you’re bound to run up part of it!
The Carlsbad Marathon and Half Marathon started off with a cold morning. I was glad that I brought gloves and arm warmers with me. If you haven’t ever raced before, you would think it’s weird to see people walking around in trash bags draped over their body. But this was a common thing to see as runners tried to keep themselves warm.
I jogged before the race and did some active stretching and warm-ups to get the blood flowing. I usually don’t wear any jewelry any time I run, but since I made it a point to pray the rosary on my training runs, I had to have my running partner…
I prayed the rosary once the race started and it put me in a meditative state most of the way.
The race itself was scenic. There’s nothing like running next to the ocean, hearing the crash of waves along the shoreline. Plus, there were some entertaining bands along the course from metal bands, bluegrass bands, an MC Hammer wannabe, and even flamenco guitarists! It made for a fun race.
The hill training came in handy. I started of steady and remained steady for most of the race. I did most of my passing on the hills.
In the end, it all paid off.
Official time: 2:11:22
That’s 7 minutes faster than my last half marathon!
I highly recommend this race — even for newbies! It’s fun, scenic, and well-organized.
Post-race: I would have loved to have stuck around for the post-race goodies (especially for the Nothing Bundt Cake samples), but I had to race home (35 miles away) and shower so I could see my daughter at her first day singing in choir at our church. After that, we headed to my nephew’s birthday and a Google+ meetup. I had a slight headache for most of the day but got over it by the evening. I should have had more food in my belly after the race!
Since I’m aiming for the Triple Crown, my next race is the La Jolla Half Marathon. Wish me luck!
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