Having said that... I finished yesterday's Rock and Roll San Diego in 5:17:07. My 4:56 PR from December's CIM in Sacramento still stands. Admittedly, I was hoping to set a new standard for myself, but, it was apparently not to be. Despite that, I am thrilled to have racked up another finish, number 7 in this year's 12in12. I am over the hump.
The weather was awesomely awesome. Cool, overcast, and even a bit drizzly at times. It was muggy in spots away from bay breezes, but nothing like the last time I ran RnR in 2006, when it was riduculously hot. My watch was set for 3:1 run/walk Galloway intervals, a system I was hoping to stick with all the way.
When I made the eastward turn from the edge of the harbor toward downtown, at mile 6.5ish, I knew things were going to be better this time than in '06. Back then this is where I realized my first RnR was going to suck, big time.
The big challenge on this course is the climb up the 168 freeway, closed off for us 15,000+ (new official numbers) runners. It's about a two mile climb, twice as long as Big Sur's trek up to Hurricane Point. Perhaps I should have geared down to 2:1's here, as I did at Big Sur, but I didn't. It may have been my one mistake this time around. At the start of the climb I was setting a PR pace. By the time I crested the peak, I had lost it. Not to worry, I told myself. The rest of the course is downhill or flat.
As I hit the halfway point my Garmin showed 2:30, which is pretty much the norm for me for 13.1. I had gained back a little time, but with half the race to go it was a crap-shoot as to whether or not I could maintain my pace. I did well until mile 20 (3 miles passed my blessed Mars bar break) where I realized the "3" part of the 3:1's was taking its toll. I switched to 2:1's here, thinking no matter how tired I was I could surely always find a 2 minute run in the tank til the end. That worked, and I stuck with the intervals the rest of the way. In many past races this is where I've dumped out on the intervals and walked more than ran.
The first time I ran RnRSD I was pretty new to this sport, and knew no one in the pack. This time I had lots of friends who came down from the Bay Area and beyond, with their own goals tattooed on their minds. I am thrilled to say most, if not all of them, set new records for themselves in San Diego, and are going home fulfilled. I am in awe of every one of them, and what they were able to accomplish here. You know who you are. Looking forward to many more races with you. For those runs we don't share, I will be watching, and wondering, often, just how, and yes, sometimes why, we keep doing this. But do it, we will.
Rock and Roll Seattle is next, next month.