Carlsbad was a good but sometimes miserable race.

I picked up my pacer, Graham, and we arrived by 6:15am. It’s an easy race because it starts and finishes in one location: a mall. So there’s also ample parking. We peed, and met the rest of our group at 7am. Then of course I had to pee again. And once I got back from peeing, I had to pee yet again. So we warmed up and ran to the porta-potties on course (genius! Because there were no lines and they had barely been used). If I’m known for anything, it should be for my constant need to pee.

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I had no pre-race jitters. It was actually quite the opposite; I was worried if any adrenaline would kick in. I think having a pacer made me less nervous because I wasn’t just putting myself out there. Plus I had done all I could to prepare, so whatever happened was up to my body, and I had ultimately no control over that.

The race started and even though my heart wasn’t pumping with excitement, we started off fast but settled into our pace. From the start we noticed that the mile markers were a little off. Both my watch and Graham’s kept beeping at the mile about 0.1-0.25 before the course markers.

Mentally it was one of the quickest races. I didn’t even realize the distance until mile 4 and then it was only 2 miles until the turn around point. Usually, by mile 2, I’m already beating myself up and second-guessing “why did I do this?” I also ran without music (my first race without it) and it went smooth.

At mile 6 there was the biggest hill of the first half, and I took it a little too quick. I was feeling good and I just wanted to get it over with, so I probably kept around the same pace (instead of just slowing it down and exerting the same effort). At the top this kind of hit me.

By mile 7 I was feeling euphoric. And by mile 9 I was feeling a little too euphoric (is that a thing?). I don’t like being out of control of my body. And by this point I warned my pacer that my brain was feeling a little foggy, in the chance something medically was to happen.  I contemplated even telling him this in the event that it would jinx me and I would immediately pass out/fall over.

Towards the end it obviously got tough for me. I tried to keep it as close to 8 minute pace as possible. I didn’t want to completely crash (although I probably would have given up and started walking if I was alone). Thank god for Graham’s constant reminders “you got this,” “stay strong,” and “almost home” that I completed this in my goal time.

The last 1.5 miles my legs felt like jello. And at 12.5 I thought my arm went numb?  So I just had to remind myself, only 3-4 minutes left.

The last .25 I started burping and was afraid I was going to barf. It wasn’t that I felt like I was pushing myself to my ultimate limits, I just felt like my body was having reactions (to idk what). Do I sound like a hypochondriac or what?  I swear I’m not always this bad!!

My slowest mile was an 8:06 which is a big improvement from my past races that have had at least a mid-8 min mile and/or at least one in the 9s.  This was a good step towards my goals. It showed I could push the pace faster than an 8 minute mile. I just need to work on a little more speed mixed with sustained endurance.

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Mile splits recorded by my Garmin (1:42:25):
1- 7:34
2 – 7:19
3 – 7:42
4 – 7:36
5 – 7:51
6 – 7:39
7 – 7:56
8 – 7:53
9 – 7:51
10 – 7:57
11 – 8:06
12 – 8:05
13 – 7:16
Last .25 – 1:35
My chip time was 1:42:23.

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