Yesterday I ran the CA Classic Half Marathon. The CA Classic Weekend held in Fresno is a two day event. Saturday starts off with a bike ride (three different distances 35 miles, 60 miles or 100 miles) and Sunday is the run (5k, Half, Kids run). It's a great weekend for Fresno. I really want to learn how to ride and hopefully race once day.
My day started off at 5 am. It took me a while to wake up. Coffee and oatmeal helped. It's about a 30 minute drive from Dinuba to Fresno. My parents drove with me and we got to Chukchansi Park (baseball stadium for the local Fresno Grizzlies) at 6:15. Parking was super easy, we found a spot about a block away from the stadium.
I like races that start at a venue because they have real bathrooms. They also had port-a-potties set up and it looked like there were plenty and the wait wasn't long.
The race started a little after 7:00. It was already a little warm outside.
I have been dealing with a little injury. My hip has been bugging me and so has the back of my knee. I was worried about the pain during this race and had told myself that I was just going to take it easy.
Of course, once the race started and every one took off, I followed. I had to tell myself to slow down multiple times. i started off to fast and slowed down to an 8 min/mile pace. I also kept checking in with myself, making sure to ask "is this pace comfortable".. "is it too fast". I tried to keep an 8:30 min/mile for the first few miles. The first 5 miles were through downtown and some residential areas, as we made our way to the zoo.
The course was great. I really enjoyed the zoo and wished I had a camera. We ran past sea lions, giraffe and zebras. Did you know it would take a giraffe 25 minutes to run a half marathon.
After the zoo, I started to feel hot and dehydrated. I grabbed water at the aid station; drank half the cup and dumped one on my head. That helped but my pace started to slow down, 8:30-8:40 min/mile.
After mile 10, my hip and thigh was cramping. I knew that I wasn't going to be able to keep moving as fast as I wanted to. It was really disheartening because the race was almost over, I had felt so great earlier and I couldn't keep it up.
The last two miles were a 9:50 min/ mile. I couldn't lift my left leg high enough for a good stride. I felt like I was taking little bitty steps.
AHHHHH! I was so upset with myself, and my leg.
I told myself not to stop. It didn't matter if it took me an hour to run those last two mile, I was not going to walk. It was a conscience effort to put one leg in front of the other. But, I finally got there. When I saw the finish line, I tried to sprint but it was more like a painful jog.
The good news is that I finished. And that I ran a lot of the race at a decent pace. I was really worried that I would be in pain after 3 miles.