I woke yesterday morning not feeling quite right, somehow off. Maybe it had to do with the lack of sleep the night before. It must be my race karma that the girls never sleep through the night on the eve of a race.
I headed out to meet a friend from High School who was also running the race so we could carpool to the San Leandro Marina Park. We got there about 8:30am to check in and get our bibs and timing chips. As always Brazen Racing was well organized and we didn't have to wait in line very long. We watched the half marathoners start, I was amazed, there were so many of them - 171 as reported on the results list. As we got ready for our start it was nice that I had some other friends running as well. We're all varying levels of runners so we all started in different spots, which works well for me since I like to be a loner when running.
We were off! We ran out through the grass, which is much more challenging than it sounds, especially soggy grass. It felt much better once we hit the trail. The course was awesome, the bay was to my right and a golf course to my left, the scenery was fantastic. I found my pace and was chugging along, there were many times that I felt like walking, but I promised myself no walking until at least the aid station/turn around point.
Once I arrived at the aid station I grabbed the sports drink rather than the water because there was a back-up for the water. I didn't want to stop because getting started again requires so much more effort than just running through the aid station. I was proud of myself for running through the aid station and kept trotting along. Although I now noticed that we were running into the wind and we were running at an ever so slight incline. No wonder I felt so good on the way out. Shortly after the aid station it hit me, side cramps. Really? I never get cramps when running. The cramps caused me to walk and lower my heart rate and then I started running again. Every time I was pretty sure I had hydrated well enough the day before, I had a good breakfast. I'm blaming it on the gu or whatever the sports drink was that they had at the aid station. Note to self, stick with water at the aid station next time.
The last mile was really painful for me, filled with way more walking than I would have liked. As we neared the end there was a volunteer at the end of the gate who was directing us to the left to the finish line. Past him I could see the rear bumper of a patrol car, hmmm Highway Patrol car, I can only think of one chippy who would find the need to be parked here at Marina Park while we come running in. I waived and then saw the rear lights on the squad car go on, yep it was Scott! I got so excited I probably started running a little faster than I should have and then I remembered the grass and that I had to save some leg for the finish line. I slowed to a walk (which Scott saw and gave me grief over) and when I felt I was in safe distance started running again. I really didn't have much left to sprint to the finish line, especially given how much work it was to run through the grass. As I aprroached the finish line, I felt two woman coming up on either side about to pass me. Oh no you don't, I dug down deep and put into high gear, and so did they! I was pretty sure I beat them. Final results show one woman and I crossed at the same time and the third was behind us, I'll take that.
Overall, not my best race. I had hoped to have a nice time at this course since it was Brazen's only flat course. Oh well, you can't win them all. I have much work to do before the Benicia Run for Education next month.