Last weekend I flew down to meet P in So Cal for fun in San Diego. I finally got to lace up my (new) running shoes to race! 2010 hasn’t exactly been the year I’d planned in terms of racing, I’ve only completed 2 of the 5 races I’d signed up for so far this year with two DNS and 1 DNF. I was really ready to get out there and race the AFC Half Marathon on Sunday.
We did a mellow Saturday with breakfast, a course preview and a long nap before dinner. The course preview was interesting. I’d originally picked this race because it was a downhill and flat course, point to point, which I love and the timing was perfect. The “downhill” portion of the race was insane. It started off with some pretty steep rolling hills, and then plunged downhill for a solid 3 miles. There was flat in the middle, but the finish was a brutal climb of 300′ in just under 2 miles. I must be bad at math, because I knew this from the course profile, but didn’t grasp how bad it was until I saw it.
I felt mentally prepared going into this race and that I could rock it and just reminded myself to relax and go. I was pretty pleasantly surprised to not be terribly nervous, considering my lackluster performances/lack there of this year.
The race ended up being a LOT harder than I’d anticipated. Not much about this was easy. I found myself pushing a pace I couldn’t maintain and then desperately struggling up the final hill which knocked me down a solid 3 minutes off my pace. Pretty much the same amount of time that I missed my goal of a PR by. At the time I was hurting so bad, I was pretty happy to finish, totally humbled by how difficult this was. Now I’m just pissed that for whatever reason, I’m still not reaching my goal. I came close, but I’m still bummed. That damn hill!