Posts Tagged ‘Carlsbad Half Marathon’

My 200th Post Is About Me

So, remember when I said that I wanted to write my 200th post about how awesome my T2 runners were? Well, I’ve got a lot going on right now, including my A race last weekend, and I figured I can’t just keep my blog in limbo forever while I wait to find the time to write those folks the post they deserve. Are they inspiring? Hell yes. Let’s just leave it at that for now.

And talk about me.

Saturday I headed down South to Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, where hoop skirts still abound (just kidding. I WISH hoop skirts still abounded). Amy and I skipped work on Friday (which is why I’m still here at 7:30 p.m.) and made the drive through typical I-95S hell with prodigal CAR Kay. We got there just in time to hit the expo, where I needed to buy a new pair of sneakers for the race. Yes, you heard me right. I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again. New shoes are my JAM, and I will wear them in a race up to and including 13.1 miles until I die! If Brooks doesn’t want me to do it, then they should start making sneakers that last longer than 200 miles.

Anyway, my local running store had already upgraded to the 2012 models, which are fug. And I’m not crazy enough to run a race in new updated shoes. So even though Amy offered to pick some up for me at her LRS, I said no thanks, I’ll just get some fo’ cheap at the expo. (This is foreshadowing, people.)

On the way to expo, we started talking about how we were feeling. Amy was nervous, but I said I felt really zen. I didn’t feel anything–I was just going to go out and run. Well, when we get to the expo to find ONLY Sauconys and discounted Adrenalines in every size except women’s 10, I could feel that zen slipping away into sheer terror. Yes, I had brought old sneakers, but I didn’t even bring my most recent pair. I just grabbed some old ones, because I figured there was no way in hell they wouldn’t have my sneakers at the expo.

Luckily, Amy, as a member of the 21st century, was able to look up the nearest running specialty store on her smartphone, while I just held my phone in my hand and pretended to study its ultra-cool keyboard, which is useless for doing anything besides communicating directly with a human being. We made a quick run to the store, which closed in–oh look at that–1o minutes. But they had the 2011 version of my shoes, and I grabbed them and headed back out to the CAR team dinner.

That was really the scariest part of the weekend for me, so forgive me for spending so much time on it. I did run a race the next day though, and my feelings about it can best be summed up as ambivalent though mostly positive. And I figured out why I was feeling so zen before the race–I had nothing to lose. Unlike my last big 13.1, I wasn’t planning to lay it out on the line. I’ve been uber-stressed lately, and while I very much viewed this as a return to my racing form, as the race I needed to prove to me that I made the right decision about my hip and my training over the last year, I still spent most of my time training for this race by standing still while other people ran around me. And the times I did run, well, I averaged about 15-minutes per mile with my runners. It was far from ideal, but it’s the training that I was able to do and still live the life that I wanted to live. A year ago I gave myself over to the marathon, and it burned me badly. If I’m going to come back, it’s going to be on my terms.

And so I went into the race with a max long run of 10 miles. I figured I could hold an 8-minute pace thanks to targeted strength training and interval work. And that’s exactly what I did. I’ll cut to the good part–I finished in 1:44:29, a time that is only 10 seconds slower than my PR and a world away from that race. Going into the Philly RnR last year, I was a basket case. I felt like I had sacrificed my life, and I didn’t feel like I was any faster for it. I felt all kinds of pressure to perform, and while I gutted it out at the half distance, I crumpled a month later in the full. My goal was to make that pace feel easy, because I knew I was a baby when it came to the marathon distance. If I don’t have the raw speed, well, I’m not going to find it out on that course.

So Saturday I started out at 7:54 and decided to pull it back a bit. My next miles were 7:57 and 8:01, just where I wanted to be. I continued on in that fashion, with outliers at 5 and 8, like everyone else it appears, and talked myself into running 13.1 miles that day. I began to slip at mile 10, mostly because I thought I was still in mile 9. I spent a lot of the time willing away small aches and convincing myself that if I stayed comfortable, I could finish the race, that my time didn’t matter. It wasn’t until I got to mile 11 that I really believed it, and then I began to speed back up. I hit mile 12 and then began gunning for the fast last mile that Kay had promised. I saw Coach George right before I turned to the downhill finish, and he yelled at me to pick it up. So I did. In that last 3/4 of a mile, I used up everything that I had been holding onto and busted out a 7:08 final mile to finish my second-fastest half marathon ever with a huge smile on my face.

I would describe my feelings after the race as “pleasantly surprised.” Am I sorry I didn’t try harder? A little. But mostly I’m just happy to be in a place that allows me to run well without pain and too much suffering. Plus I have another half marathon in a few weeks, and I plan to really prove myself there anyway.


Happy New Year

So it looks like I’m ending 2010 as I started it–injured. I’m getting an MRI done tonight because my orthopedist thinks that nagging pain in my right leg is an ischial tuberosity stress fracture. Nice. I guess that would explain how utterly f-ed up my leg was after the marathon and why a few weeks of rest didn’t help. He told me it takes THREE MONTHS to heal from one of those, but the marathon was two months ago, and while I wasn’t completely resting, I think I’m on my way. Mostly I’ll be relieved to finally know that something is wrong, that I haven’t just been feeling stupidly sore for nothing.

I’ll keep you posted on the injury status, but for now, here’s my year in pictures, an idea I ripped off from my bloggy twin, the other Liz.

Started the year in California! Ran part of the Carlsbad Half Marathon, because I was just getting over a strained calf.

In February, we got a ridiculous amount of snow. I went out to return a library book and win some socks from Pacers.

And I hit the bloggy big time by proclaiming my love for this ad.

(My new goal is to be healthy and ready to run this again this year!)


In March we had a lovely CAR dinner the night before the worst race of my life. (Not connected.)

In April I did some hiking (and packed on some pounds).

And I found the other love of my life (after Wes and running).

Oh, and don't forget the relay. April was a busy month.

In May I turned another year older, learned how to open water swim, and got serious about training again.

In June I met Mason Jennings! (That's not me in the picture.)

And I did my first triathlon. Without drowning!

In July I started taking ice baths. Brrrrrrrrrrr. I topped out at 40 pounds per bath.

In August I went to Oregon! Here are some pics I never posted...

wine tasting

Portland is the city of bridges.

In Seattle, I spied Kara Goucher across the street from my hotel!

Apparently I did nothing in September, but in October I went on some gorgeous runs in southern Virginia and North Carolina.

And I barely finished a marathon...possibly with a broken hip!

In November, I went to watch the NYC marathon and ran some of the course...but I don't have any pictures of that. In December, I came to terms with my new sport 😉

Happy New Year!

So Carlsbad It’s Good!*

No, I did not run the Carlsbad Half Marathon. And in light of the fact that my chiro told me today that I have to have several more Graston treatments on my RIGHT calf now because the muscles are all messed up there, too, I’m glad. (Note: this means nothing except I have to continue icing, stretching, and rolling my legs for the rest of my life, which I already knew.)

I did however, squeak out 7 very easy miles on a spectacular course on a gorgeous day. Yes, this is going to be a rave, but it probably has more to do with the Southern California scenery and weather than anything else.

I present Exhibits A, B, and C.

That's the Pacific Ocean on the left and runners on the right. (and my shadow)

This is just a house we passed on the course. Nice yard.

The Mighty Pacific: Like a man trying to send back soup.

In short: It’s pretty.

I only ran the first and last 3.5 miles (it’s an out and back course), but I hit some rolling hills–nothing too steep or without a corresponding downhill, but challenging all the same. I wouldn’t call it flat, but the last mile is a fantastic, very fast downhill.

Like all things in San Diego, the expo was outside.

My friend set a PR, so I think we can officially call it a PR course. It’s crowded: There are about 8,500 half marathoners and 1,500 marathoners. The marathoners started an hour and a half before we did, but I heard there is a bit of a clusterf*** at the end. But it’s well managed. The crowd had started to break up by the time I turned around at mile 3.5.

It takes almost 3 miles to reach the ocean, but it’s a very scenic journey to get there. Crowd support was decent, and in my 3 miles I passed 3 or 4 water stations, which is great, but the cups were very small, which is not. It meant that it was easy to drink the whole cup, but you probably really needed two each stop. They had Ultima out on the course, but I did not partake. Who trains with Ultima? Can we get some Nuun out there, race directors? I love that stuff.

The medals were large, heavy, colorful, and race specific. I’m sorry I don’t have a picture to prove it. I do, however, have pictures of the EXCELLENT t-shirts. Mine is my new race favorite (sorry, 2007 Philadelphia Marathon (which I can’t find anyway)).

Even if it is a bit of a lie:

I'm a finisher in spirit

As both races sold out in October this year, they really don’t need me hyping this course. But if you can easily get to San Diego or are just looking for a vacation, I’d put this race way up on my to-do list. It’s beautiful, it’s fun, it’s well managed, there’s not a lot more you could ask for.

But just in case you wanted more, I leave you with some pictures of San Diego.

Pelicans in La Jolla

Seals in La Jolla

View of San Diego from the Cabrillo Memorial

*Alternate title: California: Super Cool to the Homeless

I Am Not Rosie Ruiz

I’m trying to figure out at what point I can turn around to cut the course in this race and not come in first.

But maybe if I start slow enough…

Races to Run: Carlsbad Half Marathon

What: Carlsbad Marathon and Half Marathon

When: January 24, 2010, Marathon at 6 a.m., Half at 7:30 a.m.

Where: Carlsbad, California, just north of San Diego

Why: “Participants explore the beautiful northern San Diego coastline on a spectacular course designed to highlight the most scenic areas of San Diego County.”

Details: I don’t have many, because I’ve never been before, but if you spend some time on the website, you’ll see what attracted me. Oh yeah, and you get to run along the Pacific coast.


Here’s a link to a blog with a write up of last year’s race and some more glorious pictures.

The Half Marathon is an out-and-back course that runs almost entirely along the Pacific Ocean. The Marathon

takes an inland detour for miles 6-14.

The race sells out early. I registered back in October, and both races sold out not long after that.

I’ll be reporting live from the race this weekend, but in the meantime, does anyone have any firsthand experience with the race?

I’m just looking forward to getting away from this crappy DC weather.


*Future race previews will be far more awesome–they will involve scouting and pictures and all kinds of stuff that I can do to races close to home. Running in California is just going to have to be a leap of faith for me this time.

New Features!

I’m proud to announce that this week I’ll be starting TWO exciting new weekly features. On Wednesdays, I’ll profile an upcoming race (probably in the DC metro area, unless I’m traveling). Then on Fridays, I’ll be asking runners to give me five reasons they run or race.

If you’d like to participate in either feature–as a runner or a race expert/director–please send me an email at lizard151 at (I’m old school.) Please put Lizard Runs in the subject line so I can find you in my junk mail.

I’ll also take tips on races I should profile, and if you’re traveling or just somewhere I’m not and would like to do a guest race report, please let me know. The more the merrier! (I’ll take triathletes and cross posts! Cough, Hannah, cough.)

We’ll start with the Carlsbad Half Marathon on Wednesday, since I’m headed out there this weekend. Look for a live blog–I’m probably not running, and Boy Monkey has an iPhone!

And I’ll probably be the first person profiled…unless I get an influx of entries between now and then. So if you’ve always wanted to see your name in lights, now’s the time!

2009 in Review: Injuries, Injuries, Injuries

Fuck you, 2009

2009 was not a good year for me. I managed to hurt the same leg three separate times, which ensured that I spent much of the year stuck on the couch. I didn’t PR once. I barely worked out. Every time I started to get back into it, I hurt myself again.

I finally succumbed to piriformis syndrome in March 2009, after running with it for about a year and a half. (In 2008 I PRed every distance, so it wasn’t all for naught.) During the National Marathon, my left hip just wasn’t firing at all. I ended up running 1:51:18 on a course that I’d run 1:48:02 on the year before, despite the fact that I’d just run a sub-47-minute 10k in December 2008 and hadn’t slacked off at all. So I knew something was wrong.

When you’re piriformis is a f-ed up as mine was, you’re pretty much down for the count. I couldn’t run; I couldn’t bike, even though that’s how I got to work; I couldn’t use the elliptical or the rowing machine. I could swim, but I didn’t have easy or free access to a pool. So I lifted my upper body and blew that up and worked with a therapist and a chiropractor to get the strength and range of motion back into my leg.

I got back in the swing, did a race in late April (26-something 5k), started training again and … flipped off my bike in July. I missed my triathlon. After about two weeks of not walking and another two months of not running, I was kind of ready to run again. By then I missed my marathon, but after going to watch it, I got the inspiration to start training again. And so I did.

And so you read. I was doing pretty good–until two days after the Tucson Half when my left calf decided it wanted to ensure that I wouldn’t finish the year in any kind of running shape. It’s strained, and 14 days after it happened, I’m still limping. I’m going to see Dr. Paul tomorrow and hope he can finally mash the toxins out.

What does this mean for the Carlsbad Half at the end of January? Who knows. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed and my leg foam-rolled and hoping that 2010 is going to be a running year (and a gym year) again.