Wednesday, February 13, 2013

San Dieguito Half Marathon

On Sunday, 2/11/13, I completed the San Dieguitio Half Marathon with Neilesh Patel in Rancho Santa Fe, CA (near San Diego). The course is stunning. We ran through morning fog and saw views of fields, lakes, and the like.
I chose to run this half marathon to check my progress as I train for the Big Sur Marathon on April 28th. The San Dieguito Half Marathon is a hilly course and would therefore by good practice for Big Sur which also has significant elevation changes. My goal was to finish the race without getting injured in less than 3 hours (the course limit).

The race began at 8am. It was a cold morning, with the temperature being 45 degrees. Because of this, we decided to run especially slow for the first 3 miles to warm up. About 7.5 miles into the course, we sped up and started to overtake runners. The weather started to warm up around 9am and the conditions became ideal for running. The first half of the race was much tougher than the 2nd half (fortunately) and our 2nd half was faster than our 1st half.

The race organizers did a great job of providing water frequently on the course. Water and VitaLyte (a sports drink) were available every mile. One nice spectator had oranges 5 miles into the course - thank you! At the 7.5 mile mark, we were given powerbar gel packs. These gel packs gave us new life.

We surpassed our expectations by finishing the Half Marathon in a time of 2:15, at a pace of 10:30 per mile. Our conservative race strategy was validated - we passed over 100 runners and may have been passed by just a few runners.

Most importantly, I learned what I need to do over the next 2.5 months to successfully complete the Big Sur Marathon. I'm targeting running 4x per week and sleeping 8-9 hours per day. All junk food will be off-limits but I will be upping my carb and protein intake. In the process, I'd like to lose 5 lbs and get close to 150 lbs. My weekly runs will be 3-4 miles (easy run), 5-10 miles (medium runs), 3-4 miles (easy run), 10-20 miles (Saturday long run). On othe other days I'll be doing maintence lifts for the upper body. I will also use my Vibrams for 1-2 runs per week so I can strengthen smaller feet muscles and tendons. A lot of socializing and fun will have to be sacrificed for the next few months as I go to sleep by 9pm, but I think I will be rewarded on race day with a Big Sur medal.
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