On Sunday I completed my last race of 2015…the San Diego Holiday Half Marathon. The San Diego Holiday Half Marathon starts in Rancho Penasquitos and ends near Torrey Pines State Beach, with a net drop of 714 feet.

This was not a race I was expecting. In a good way.

The morning started off FREEZING —below 40 degrees (very cold for San Diego)! My dad and brother dropped me off near the start, I used the porta-potty and then lined up with around 8 minutes to spare.

I had forgotten my gloves but was wearing a tank, long sleeve, throwaway sweatshirt, compression socks and shorts. Right before the start I threw off my sweatshirt and kept my long sleeve layer on until around mile 4.

IMG_0192

I lined up and ran into Jen and Tyler. We started off together but within the first tenth mile I was already pulling ahead. I just decided to run my own race and see where it would take me.

Around 1.5 you encounter “the hill” which wasn’t too bad. Due to my trail running (and beating up my quads), I let my legs roll on the downhills, which ended up being pretty fast. I was worried I was going to blow up, especially trying to deal with the gradual uphill during the rolling hills because I am so used to walking all hills now. I just told myself to keep it at or under an 8 minute pace.

I just tried to really focus on feel. I checked my watch briefly to make sure I was in the range, but I tried to not focus wholeheartedly on it. I knew if I saw a fast pace I would freak myself out. I already had enough self-doubt with running an ultra 2 weeks before and a 12 miler 2 days prior. The only time I saw my time was around mile 6 when I realized I was at 43 minutes and I could potentially have a good time.

At mile 6 I started to take a Gu. However, it took me a while to finish it and I ended up not finishing it because it was so cold it started to harden up.

Once I got to mile 11 I knew I had this. My favorite part of any race has increasingly become the last 2 miles because I know I can do anything for 2 miles (and that includes cranking it).

I count this as my first legit half marathon PR in a while (the last one was in Fontana, 1:32, with a 2,125 ft net downill, and before that Nike Women’s Half in DC with a 1:40).

It was a nice course with a smaller number of runners (limited to 3,500 max) because it runs on the bike path next to the 56 freeway. I liked being on the bike path because it kept the race very small and focused vs. being on expansive and wide streets.

I ended up running a 1:35:01 and getting 6th in the age group. It’s funny, I didn’t realize what pace I was running (what was my fastest and what was my slowest mile) until the next day when I reviewed my watch and checked my splits.

IMG_0163

Mile splits recorded by my Garmin (1:35:04):
1 – 7:31
2 – 7:04
3 – 7:35
4 – 6:44
5 – 7:19
6 – 7:11
7 – 7:33
8 – 7:19
9 – 7:13
10 – 7:25
11 – 7:06
12 – 7:13
13 – 7:01
Last .13 – 0:44

signature

Thanks to RACEPLACE for the opportunity to run this race!