(#15) OC half Marathon – Part 1 (Back to Back Races In 2 Different Time Zones)

Monday, May 7th, 2012

I may or may not have chuckled a bit at my dad during certain points of the race the day before this one.

Of course I don’t enjoy seeing my dad in pain, but when he’s being so hilarious, how can I not laugh? Not to mention, he readily admits that it was a mistake not to have trained more. How can you not laugh when the person telling you “I’ve walked four miles in a row. I’ll be fine for 13,” is telling you toward the end of the race “I’m never doing another distance event!”

Well, today was payback day. I was the one who got to have a nice little struggle.

Doing two half marathons back to back actually wasn’t quite as bad as I thought it might be. I’m sure it helped that my dad and I just walked Indy. If I had tried to run both halves, I might be singing a different tune.

One of my biggest pieces of advice to my future self, and any of you who want to do two half marathons back to back in different states, is that if you book a plane ticket thinking, “Oh, it gets in at 7:30, I’ll have plenty of time for sleep,” you are not getting in at 7:30. You may be landing at LAX at 7:30. But you have not yet gotten off the tiny plane, onto a shuttle that took you to a terminal, walked outside, waited for the FlyAway bus, finally gotten on the bus, taken the metro from Union Station, walked from the metro to your apartment, (maybe took a short dip in the jacuzzi in your apartment complex to try to relax your muscles a bit before your race tomorrow), gotten ready for bed/your race the next day.

I suppose that wasn’t so much advice as a fact. One I will remember. It actually takes time to get from a plane to your apartment. Weird, right?

On Thursday night, before the Indy expo, I only slept a few hours because I had been on a weird sleep schedule. I hoped denying myself sleep that night would help me get to sleep early the next night – leading into Indy. However, I got a second wind (or maybe just too excited about my huge, favorite race (with my dad!)). I didn’t get to sleep until about 1 in the morning.

Here I am coming off of two days of not too terribly much sleep, and I finally get in bed around 10:30, needing to wake up around 4. Not awful. But not ideal. (And heck yeah, I took a nap on the first plane leg!)

Not that you really need a play-by-play of my sleep schedule, but there you have it.

Getting up sort of hard. I really wanted to just keep hitting snooze until about noon. But, I had a race, baby!

When I finally dragged myself to the start line, I was ready to take a nap in my corral until we actually crossed the line.

I heard marathoners go off at about 5:45. I didn’t realize they started so early until I got there and heard it happen. The half marathoners started at 6:15. It was surprisingly already getting light outside. I appreciated the early start. I’d rather be tired than sweating in the hot, hot sun.

I was determined to jog the first mile, because, you know, it’s only a mile. My legs weren’t that tired. I should certainly be able to do it. And I was. I did it in about 12:20 – not a fast jog, obviously. Any of you real runners out there are thinking, “Are you kidding me? My grandma jogs a 12:20 mile.” At this point in my training, I am happy with a 12:20 mile, and I’m working at least fairly hard to get it. (I’m pretty sure I could go faster if I knew I didn’t have another 12.1 coming right after it.)

My only goal of the race was to finish. The time limit was 3 1/2 hours, so at every mile marker, I checked my time and thought about where I was in the scheme of 16 minute miles. At the end of mile one, I thought, “Sweet. I banked over 3 minutes.” I mixed jogging with walking, and by the end of my first 5k, my average pace was still under 14 minute miles.

And this is where I’ll pick up tomorrow.

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