Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Good: San Diego Day One, Heroes 5K

Friday morning I woke to cloudy but comfortable.  It was mid-50's, perfect for running!  I woke up WAY too early- not adjusted to the time zone.

Morning view of the city from my balcony

I was wide awake, so I got up and made some coffee.  It was the first time I've actually LIKED the coffee that was provided with the hotel room!  They had K-cups of some sort of espresso.  It wasn't quite as good as my coffee at home, but it saved me a stop at Starbucks before the race.

I ate half a bagel (they were huuuge!) with cream cheese and walked the half-mile to the race start.  I considered my brisk walk my warmup and did some stretching before the start of the race.  The grass was wet, so that limited my stretching somewhat, but I don't usually do much stretching anyway.  It basically just gives me something to do pre-race other than stand around.

I'd never seen a chip like this!  Apparently they're common out there, I had the same kind the next day. 

The race started and finished in the same place in NTC Park.  The race was all on trails or sidewalks.  Because of the wet grass, it was a little treacherous right at the start heading onto the sidewalk.  I saw one guy slip and totally biff it.  He was okay, though.  He got right back up and kept going.  Except for one short pass underneath a bridge, the trails were all in great condition.

My previous 5K PR was 27:44 and was from 2004.  I wanted to beat that, but knowing I had 2 more races that weekend, didn't want to completely wear myself out.  My plan was to run the first 2 miles around 9-minute pace and speed up for the last mile.  My plan worked perfectly.

Mile 1: 8:49
Mile 2: 8:55
Mile 3: 8:34
Extra 0.1:  39 seconds (7:25 pace)

With about 3/4 of a mile to go, I passed an older guy who said, "I'll follow you, take me on in."  He fell in about 6 feet behind me.  I yelled, "C'mon!", and he said he was coming.  He encouraged me from that 6 feet behind "Nice pace!", "You're doing great, beautiful!" until I started to struggle a little to hold the pace and he passed me.  I tried to go with him.  I sped up, but wasn't able to quite keep up with him.  I crossed the line in 26:58, a new PR!

I found him at the water station and thanked him for helping me get that PR.  He thanked me for keeping his pace up for the last little bit.  After a little conversation, I discovered that he was 75 years old and would also be running the Silver Strand Half-Marathon on Sunday.  We wished each other luck and went our separate ways.

Youth Naval Cadets formed a finish line chute and handed out dog-tag style finisher medals.

I hung around the finish to cheer for the rest of the finishers, including a girl I had spoken with at the start line who was running her very first race.  After checking the final results, I jogged back to the hotel to get some breakfast.

There was a cafe in the hotel that served Starbucks so I headed there for some grub.  I had a caramel latte and a monstrous egg, feta & spinach wrap.  It was delicious.  It was still cloudy but was 60-some degrees so I ate on the patio. 

My HUUUUGE breakfast burrito

After my shower, the sun came out so I brought my book, water and some pillows out onto my balcony and laid down to read with my feet up.  Since I didn't eat breakfast until after 10AM, I just snacked on my grocery store goodies in lieu of lunch. 

Laying with my feet up for recovery purposes.

Hotel water glasses are so small, I had to double-fist it all day!

I bought this book specifically as inspiration for this trip.  I highly recommend it!
After laying down for a while, I was getting restless so I walked around Point Loma for a while.  I kept my walk to just a couple miles so I wouldn't be on my feet too much.  At the end of my walk, I sat down on a bench to enjoy the sunshine a little more and my legs muscles started twitching.  Good thing I hadn't walked any further.  I went back upstairs and put my legs up again. 

Since I had only snacked for lunch, I was hungry for supper early.  I walked over to Oggi's Pizza and Brewery for supper.  I had the "Marathon" flatbread pizza, chosen partly for it's name, but mostly because it looked good.  Um, ok, so all pizza looks good, what can I say?  They brew their own beer and I had a California Gold Blonde Ale (I think that's what it was called).  The waiter said it was a lot like a Stella Artois.  It was similar and very good. 

Beer!  (Screenshot from Oggi's website)

I walked back to the hotel to find that one of the GOTRIbal ladies had called while I was out.  I called her back and we decided to meet up and she could get supper and I'd have a drink or dessert. 
I met Cherie at Joao's.  (Again, for me this is a HUGE step out of my comfort zone.)  She was super nice and we had a lot in common to talk about.  While she had supper, I had a margarita and  garlic shrimp taco for "dessert"- I could smell them when I walked in and they just smelled too good to pass up.  I'm actually don't have that much of a sweet tooth and often will have another helping of something at supper rather than dessert.  Anyway, I had a great time meeting Cherie.  That meet-up going well made me more confident in planning to meet a couple other people later in the weekend. 

I had another 5K coming up the next morning so I needed to get to bed early.  I went back to the hotel about 8pm, watched some TV, rolled my legs and went to bed. 

Up next- The Slow: San Diego Day Two, Girls On The Go 5K

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the PR!! And on pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. I am also an introvert so I know how hard it can be meeting new people. Although I always do better one on one instead of a big group.