Encinitas Half Marathon Race Recap

My watch beeped 6:56 as mile one came and went in a flash. 
6:56 was quicker than I was supposed to begin the race and I am glad I got that out of my system in practice, because I will not be doing that in less than three weeks.

The course made a quick, but not at all sharp left turn and immediately went down a super steep hill. It was the kind of hill that puts worry in the back of your mind for two reasons:
1. Holy knees (which everyone around me was saying) and 2. Ugh. We have to come back up this hill at some point!

The good stuff!

Okay then. Let's back up a tiny bit before we get going too far. After a very low key day on Saturday, I crawled into bed early in anticipation of my alarm ringing at 3:15 am.
What the what? How crazy is that? 3:15 in the morning. On a Sunday. But, that is what I had to do as we weren't planning on getting a hotel and spending the whole weekend in Encinitas.
You know how we talk about runners making such great friends? Well, on Saturday I get a message from Caitlyn offering for me to stay at her house that night so I didn't have to get up at 3:15 am ("Do you really want to do that"?! She asked). That was the kindest offer I have received in a long while and my theory is indeed correct - runners are way cool people.
Since my kids wanted to travel with me, I decided to go with my original plan and left on Sunday morning for the race.

Flat Nat was laid out and ready to go.

My kids were begging me to let them come to the race. We had a family meeting about it and I outlined the plan. Go to bed early on Saturday and leave about 4 am on Sunday. Josh was totally onboard, I knew I would plan for Elle to be with my Mom, and Megan decided, nope - she didn't want to come after all. That is until she realized she didn't want to miss out on something Josh was doing. #siblings

We left the house about 4:30 and sailed down in an hour and thirty minutes. Easy and zero traffic at that hour of the morning.
I arrived, picked up my bib, started to warm up and immediately had to go to the bathroom. Porty Potty line was insane at this point and I was starting to get nervous about getting to the start and thinking about the race a bit. My coach texted me to see how I was doing and the text came at the moment I needed it. It's amazing how things happen and you get a boost of extra confidence and remember all the hard work you've been putting in, even though you seem to have a case of temporary insanity.

Race begins, I made it in plenty of time and we're off.

Miles 1-3: 6:56, 7:01, 6:57 - it takes me a few miles to get into the race and I needed to slow this down. Women around me were racing for sure and it would be interesting to see where they all would end up at mile 11.

Miles 4-6 : 7:03, 7:09, 7:04 - The 1:30 pacer was ahead of me at this point and in the back of my mind I wanted to keep him in sight, but also didn't want to blow up my race plan. I was feeling good at this point. Not great - not the light and airy feeling when you've tapered for a goal race - but good.

Miles 7-10: 7:00, 7:16, 7:16, 6:59 - Came in through the 10k at like 42 something and that made me feel like things were going well. Mile 7 was fine and then we had a long gradual hill at 8 and 9. You wouldn't normally notice it, but you notice it a bit eight miles into a race. The thing is, I could see that there was a turn around and then gradual downhill at mile 10 - I just needed to make it!
I was determined to turn things around, hence the 6:59 at mile 10.

Miles 11-13 and the end: 7:24, 7:28, 7:11 - So this is where it gets a little ugly. 7:24 and 7:28? After the gradual downhill of mile 10, it felt like a slight long incline at mile 11. By this point, we all realized this was not a flat course and people were dropping like flies. I passed a lot of people at this point and tried to focus really hard. I definitely need some work on the last 5k, but every race is a chance to learn and grow. Mile 13, I was talking to myself - "come on, you have to finish this strong". I felt like I had more left in the tank than 7:11 at mile 13, but the mental demons were rearing their head a bit. I was not happy about the previous two miles, trying to shake off the sting of disappointment and forge ahead.

There was a woman who passed me a few miles back and then I passed her during mile 10. Mile 12 point something comes along and she passes back. I knew we were getting so close - less than a half mile - and that was when you needed to start giving it your all. I didn't and I think there is I have a slight fear of sprinting the last mile, but honestly - what could happen? I have to learn to take chances and race hard.

Hot chocolate and oatmeal was served afterwards as promised. They also gave coconut water, a banana and some other goodies.
I met a lot of fun people and then a fellow Instagram runner, RunnergirlNatalie came up and said hello! I love meeting runners from social media, she was really sweet, and we chatted for a bit. I am so bummed we didn't get a picture!

Next, Caitlyn and I ran a post run cool down and cheered the other runners onto the finish.

Just like that it was time to get home and relax. We stopped for bagel sandwiches (eat all the food!) and enjoyed a nice drive home.

I really enjoyed this race and will definitely be back to run it again. The volunteers were cheerful, warm and fun. It was beautiful course in a quaint beach town and very well organized.

Now it's time to get ready for BOSTON!

Have you ever been to San Diego?

How many miles are you running this weekend?

Whether you are running or spectating, I want to know ----> Who's going to Boston?! 


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