I loved this race – one of my all-time favorites! It’s a challenging course that starts at the Del Mar race track and heads south along the 101 to La Jolla cove – climbing up and down The Torrey Pines Hill. Not a course for PR-ing, with an elevation gain of 951 and elevation loss of 933. But I’m glad I didn’t let that keep me away! This is the first time in a major race that I’ve ever placed in the top of my age group. Second in F30-34!
A point-to-point course means shuttle buses. I was spooked by the very strongly worded final race instructions about timing and road closures, arrived early, and ended up catching one of the first shuttles. So I arrived at the start at 5:45 a.m. – 1 hour and 45 minutes before the start! Oh, that was a long wait. Although weather was great for racing, 57 and mostly cloudy, it was cold waiting around! I made a new friend on the shuttle bus and spent the time chatting, going to the bathroom, stretching, eating, drinking, going to the bathroom, warming up, going to the bathroom. You know, the things you do to pass the time!
I know this course well, as this was my training ground for lots of years! So my plan was to go out at 7:30 for the first few miles – which were flat. Needed to save some energy for those hills! I knew I’d have to slow down some for the hill starting around Del Mar Heights Road, but then I could pick up some speed on the first big downhill. Which I perfectly executed.
1 – 7:29
2 – 7:23 (73+, 80-)
3 – 7:31 (72+)
4 – 7:53 (110+)
5 – 6:50 (23+, 193-)
Then it was big hill time! I felt pretty comfortable running up The Torrey Pines Hill. Just went by effort. Passed a lot of people, which always produces that extra boost and spring in the step.
6 – 8:41 (259+)
7 – 7:55 (234+, 89-)
Then came a couple of flat miles. I wanted to speed up these flat miles to more in the range of my current half marathon pace. Passed tons of people in these miles.
8 – 7:15 (31+, 24-)
9 – 7:00 (19+, 69-)
10 – 7:13 (21+, 19-)
Then the big downhill. This was steep. But because I have been religious about leg workouts in the gym for the last year, and especially tough workouts in the last 3 months, I was able to keep my form under control. And I fleeeeew down the hill. Well, more like tromped.
11 – 6:12 (341-)
The course flattened out for one mile, and I continued to pass a lot of runners. Then there was the cruel and unusual punishment of a very tough hill in first half of the last mile. I got passed back by about a handful of guys. I thought I ran the last hill pretty well (faster than the first smaller hill of the same size), but these guys powered up! I couldn't match.
12 – 7:01 (-14)
13 – 7:48 (+109, -66)
And a downhill sprint to the finish for 1:37:31 (7:27 average pace). 2nd of 550 in F30-34. 24th woman of 3085. And 165 overall of 5891.
And that's the finish line:
And that's the finish line:
Two Little Runners