Friday, June 20, 2014
Rock 'n' Roll in San Diego
With my last half marathon being a bit of a bust, I had high hopes of achieving a personal best for the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll event. I've done their events before in Savannah, where I last achieved my best time of 1:48. Both times I ran in my favorite southern city I enjoyed the music, energy, and enthusiastic citizens that came out in droves to cheer the runners on. Extremely well-organized, I was looking forward to experiencing a similar situation in my hometown. The irony of running a race in the city that you live in is that you will probably have a harder time getting to the race than the people who come from out of town and stay in hotels that afford them the luxury of walking a few blocks to the race. For local saps like me, every nearby road was blocked off to cars, limiting the transportation possibilities to driving a few miles in the wrong direction, parking your car, and then taking the trolley/bus/cab nearby and walking another 1/2 mile or so. Instead, I chose to walk 2 miles and avoid the car completely. I knew that the walk home would suck, but I pulled a Scarlett O'Hara and told myself that I'd "worry about that tomorrow."
The walk over went great; it was fairly mild outside and we got there quickly. One problem though…apparently my morning constitutional was begging for a sequel. I barely got to the race area (which was fairly mild considering it was a Rock 'n' Roll event) and I knew I was going to have to find a restroom. All of the restrooms in Balboa Park were locked up (welcome to San Diego). Instead, it was going to have to be a trip to the porta-potty. I really hate porta-potties. When my house was being remodeled, the construction crew placed one right outside my front door. The odor that emanated from that thing just about made me puke every time I exited my home in the morning. I was forced to throw away my phobias and make the best of a bad situation; about 5 pounds later, I exited the port-potty and silently apologized to the poor blonde haired girl who went in after me.
While waiting for the race to start, I met a few people in the corral I was in and made small talk until the rope went down and we were off.
Somehow, I just knew in the first mile that this was not going to be my race. Whether it was the emergency porta-potty, my 50th birthday celebration catching up with me, or the Newton shoes that I was beginning to have doubts about, I could just feel it in my bones that this race was not going to set and (positive) records for me.
When your mind knows it, the body typically follows suit. After mile 8, I ended up doing a mix of walk/run for the rest of the race, coming in with a 2:07 finish time. I was really disappointed.
What to do? Change up my training. Do something different. Along those lines, I have started doing "fun" runs every Wednesday at a local running store, Milestone Running. Each week about 50-60 runners show up outside the store and run either a 5k or 5 mile route, meet back at the store afterwards, and participate in a free raffle of running gear. It's a blast. This weekly "hump day" is something I now look forward to, as it gives me an opportunity to meet other runners and get some tips.
I got two coworkers to join me last week; of course the first-timer won the raffle!
We'll see how this goes; I'm not ready to throw the towel in yet. Here's hoping a little change in my routine yields a personal best in November!
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