Surf City Half Marathon Race Report

This picture sums up how I felt at the race!

I am no longer a runner, but a triathlete.

I'll keep this short and sweet, getting right to the details.

1798775_10152200614904171_1628204308_nGoing into the race I texted Flanny and wrote I could see myself running 1:12 and I could see myself running 1:17. I didn't really have any idea where I was. I just know that two years ago I kicked down a 1:14 and am in way better shape then I was then. Why wouldn't I go faster? Well, it's true, I would kick that little 1:14 runner's ass from two years ago a triathlon. The single biggest thing I learned this weekend is that I am no longer a runner. I'm not built that way anymore, I don't train like that anymore and now...I FINALLY I don't think that way anymore. I know Walsh and Flanny both tried to get that through my thick skull but like a lot of things in my life over the years, I had to learn it myself. So as soon as I got over the major disappointment of running my slowest half marathon to date (4 total) of a 1:18 and running 5 minutes slower that I thought I would - the light bulb came on and I am completely content with the result now.

1743635_10202425917221687_1460683657_nPre race: Good friend and Wattie team mate Chris Masilon lives 5 minutes from the starting line so him and his amazing family took me in, fed me and let me crash for the race the next day. I slept good, woke up, put on my Spidertech tape and ate a Powerbar and banana two hours before the race and just sipped on some Powerbar Perform leading up to the race. After a quick 10 minute warm up and some strides I was ready to rock! I felt very relaxed and confident of the day to come. The sun started coming out, the beach smell was in the air and everyone's energy was radiating off of their body. I absolutely love the start of a race. All that hard work ready to be paid off. Time to have some fun!

Race: 13.1 miles / 1:18:42 / 6:01 pace / 7th in AG, 24th Overall (out of 15,447 runners):

Our plan was simple. Hit 5:40-45's for the first 10k and then race it from there. I settled into the 3rd pack which was quite large. We all took turns leading and tried to block the two women who were leading their race from the wind. This race was HUGE. Television camera's, helicopters flying overhead - it was a pretty cool experience. Since we held the leading women we got quite a bit of attention. The course is rolling with a lot of false flats. My splits for the most part where right on where I wanted to be:

After a bunch of zigzagging through some residential neighborhoods we popped back out onto the Pacific Coast highway, turned around and BAM. We hit a nasty headwind for that last 10k. The pack immediately started to dissipate and I did my best to hang on. It was a bit of a crosswind so it was hard to hide from. Before I knew it I fell off the back and had to run solo into that wind all the way back. I haven't hurt that bad in a race in quite some time. It got to the point where I wanted to walk but I just fought through it. It reminded me of some of these running nightmares I have where I am running the hardest I can but the wind is so strong it has me running in place, going nowhere. I started to see my pace fall, started to get passed and my legs just got heavier and heavier. I did my best to try and stay relaxed and keep form. I'll mention it again...I haven't hurt that bad in a LONG time!

Eurostar made his debut appearance with about 800 meters to go and as much as I wanted to, I couldn't even crack a smile. I was in some deep pain. I crossed the line, wiped my brow which felt like sand paper from salt, wobbled through the chute and tried to pull myself together. After seeing a few fellow friends/triathletes in the chute, I got out of there as fast as I could with my tail between my legs...I was pissed and just wanted an IPA. Tired legs, wind, blah blah blah - stupid excuses, I hate them and don't want to come across that way. The reality is, I'm built to run a half marathon off the bike now, not crush an open one. My goal is to actually run a 1:18 off the bike this year and if you bring my pacing down to 6 minutes - I certainly think that's doable - especially since I've run 1:22 off the bike before.

To wrap things up, I am in a good place now. I learned more from that race then any other race I've done before. To let go of that runner I've been clinging so hard onto the past three years and accept the fact that I'm a triathlete now. I really enjoy triathlon and I didn't have anywhere near the same amount of fun at this race compared to the fun I have at triathlons....and that's what it's all about. Having fun!

Thanks for all of the support and I want to apologize for coming across like 1:18 is a slow time. I just have very very high expectations of myself and I didn't mean to come across as arrogant in my social media posts after my race. Thank you for reading and cheers to the 2014 triathlon season!


James said...

finally... you're learning! not being a "skinny runner" any more is good with thing with your long course goals. Ironman is about being strong! said...

So true dude. I'm up 10 pounds from last year - so on the right track!

Jim said...

Followed a link here to see your splits. I ran that race too. About 12:00 behind you. And yrs, you were starting to sound arrogant until I read you were an elite runner. Awesome job even if you thought you should have done better. I see someone like Kevin Broady ( my age group) and just have to applaud and take consolation I only been running two years. You are in a totally different class. Good luck on you future races. said...

Thanks Jim, and great race yourself!

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