Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wharf to Wharf and Weekly Recap

So I'm sitting here watching Ironman finishers crossing the finish line.  Not that I ever have a desire to do something like, I can only imagine how wonderful it feels.  One guy just skipped and danced across -- go him!

So today I ran Wharf to Wharf which likes to bill itself as the 'best little road race in California' and runs from Santa Cruz boardwalk to Capitola a nice little 6 mile jaunt. Lot of live music (some sponsored, most not), decent temps, the ocean, great setting -- what's not to like?

Well a lot for me. Apparently along with learning more than I thought possible about my body, I'm also learning the types of races I can tolerate.  And this one wasn't it.  The biggest thing is that there were over 11,000 runners in a very small area (though they said they cut it off at 13,000) but a race that likes to think of itself as small town so is kind of geared towards that.  To give the organizers credit, they manage the it all as well as they can -- tons of porta potties and all that.  The problem is, there is just too many people in what is a pretty small area.  The entire race.

I knew this would be a bit of a zoo so I wasn't going to worry about time.  I'd also run 10 miles yesterday so just wanted to see how my legs would do being a bit tired.  So I thought I had the right attitude but apparently I didn't.

The race was self seeding (which I think is it's main fault really) so my friend and I lined up near the 9min/mil sign as that seemed to be a middle ground on what we would do.  It took us 5 minutes to get to the start line but by then, people had stepped up the pace to jogging.  The first thing I do is get completely stopped by a mom walking along with her three kids -- all hanging onto each other's hands.  I get it -- she didn't want to loose her kids (they were pretty young) but really?  And it went downhill from there.  Apparently not all the walkers felt they should have lined up at the Walkers sign.  It would have been difficult and tricky start under the best of conditions just because of sheer number of people but having walkers who had obviously lined up in the earlier pace groups, made it so much worse.

My friend and I quickly got separated because she'd go through an open spot in the crowd which would close  and I'd have to find another way around.  So I just tried to settle in and kept telling myself to relax.  But another thing I learned today was that running slower than your normal pace by a lot is just about as painful as running too fast.  At mile 2.5, we were still running a 10:30 pace (I was passing and going around people constantly but that's as fast as I could go) and I was miserable.  It wasn't about the time I'd have at the end of the race, it was just about my body hurting.  Long about mile three I got the pace down to 9ish and that was fine.  Miles 4 and 5 were better and by the end of the race I was at a pleasant 8.40 pace and could have run along a lot longer.

Here's the overall results, which are fine.  But not what I could run -- these aren't my results -- this was the fact that the "race is so crowded" results.

6 Mile
Runner DetailsRace Results
Name:Tricia D
Hometown:San Jose, CA
Overall:2461 out of 11013
Women:916 out of 6727
F 45-49:107 out of 757
Finish:57:01 Pace: 9:31
Tag Time:57:01
Gun Time:1:04:01

But now for the good -- because there was a lot of good.  The route was just lovely and reminded me that I do live in a fantastic place.  The race was amazingly spectated -- I don't think there was a spot on the run that didn't have spectators.  Tons of live music -- the non sponsored stuff (in people's driveways) was the most awesome.  The day was lovely and my friend and I (and her hubs (who played sherpa) and kid then spent the rest of the morning on the patio of a pub overlooking the small bay and drinking beers (because what is it about the finish of a race that makes me want to drink beer) and eating breakfast burritos.  Life did not suck.

Past Week in Running

Tempo Tuesday -- successfully completed.  Paces were a bit slower than I was shooting for but I'm starting to think that it is because I'm running so early.  My body just doesn't work at 5.30.  Oh yeah, and the fact that I forgot inhaler again.  DUH!

Track Thursday - very successfully completed.  1x1000, 1x2000, 1x1000, 1x1000 with 400 RI -- only seconds slower on the times so was super pleased. I'm loving the early morning runs -- just not sure how I'll do then when the sun goes away again.  The high school track isn't lit -- a bit of a bummer but I'll deal.  I do think running in the morning in the dark is safer than at night as there are really no cars.  

Sat long run -- did 10 miles.  Spiffy on the times (avg pace was faster than avg pace in 6 miler -- ha ha) so feeling pretty good about things. 

With being able to do 16 miles this weekend -- after 14 in a row last week give me the confidence that I will be able to attempt the marathon thingie.  It won't be until next year -- but that was by design.  I needed another year to feel confident enough in what my body will do and all that (since I have absolutely zero experience in this and I do everything very slowly).  Anyhow, the three halfs this fall should go just fine.

Other Miscellany

I got to see Chris Isaak and The Mountain Winery on Friday night. Seriously awesome - he can certainly put on a show.  And under the catagor of 'I'm so glad my kids know all kinds of music', when I got home and the girl wonders who Chris Isaak was and I just sang the "Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii......don't want to fall in love" verse she quickly knew it was Wicked Game (which I didn't even know).  That is, after she stopped laughing at me at my pathetic singing attempt.  Anyway good show.

Last week was just miserable at work and when things go off at work (become stressful) first thing I loose is sleep. I HATE that.  So that put a damper on my cross training efforts because when I'm awake for 2 hours in the middle of the night, the early mornings just don't work.  I've never been good about separating the work stress from my sleep -- just can't seem to do it.

This week is exciting.  Boy graduates from boot camp -- so off to San Diego on Wed for me.  Need to find a 6mile route there so I can do Tempo Thursday.

And that's the highlights.

1 comment:

Nelly said...

Great that you did Wharf to Wharf! I think I've done that race 3-4 times, I always thought it was a great race with good music. Though your concerns are valid about their being too many runners for the small streets to handle. That's why I would always try to start close to the front to get away from the crowds quickly, or else your time really suffers. Only bummer for me about this race is that it's always the same weekend as SF marathon (except for this year the way the calendar fell), so I need to choose between Wharf to Wharf or SF marathon, and generally I choose SF marathon.

Just based on your times from training runs, I would have thought you could have gotten somewhere around 8:30 to 8:45 pace, so I bet the crowds really affected you.

That is awesome that you can run right from your house to some great scenery. I usually have to drive 10 minutes to get to somewhere worth running from, but I guess that's not too bad.