I really enjoy the Santa Cruz Half Marathon course. It’s scenic and it’s challenging (not a pancake-flat course).
Here is a post from last year when we did the course preview run. Beautiful, yeah?
For yesterday, the pacers showed up nice and early to get pacer-suited up and geared up! (Photo cred: Linh):
We went out for a warm up run, and I enjoyed looking at the ocean… since I wouldn’t really be able to do that when the race started:
Took a picture with the surfer who seems to always be there:
Then headed back to the start line. It’s always exciting to line up with all of the racers who have trained and worked hard to get to the start. You can feel the energy, and just want to really do well as a pacer to make sure that anyone who is following will be able to meet their goals.
There was a lady who recognized me from the year before, saying that she followed me the whole time! I was super happy to hear that (and then I felt some pressure to not mess up, haha).
The race started and a super nice girl named Candace came up and said she’d be running with me! YAY! It’s always good to have company throughout the whole race 🙂
[You can check out the elevation chart and course map here.]
Since this course is not super flat, I knew some of the splits would be a little bit off. I decided to go with this strategy: 1.) Even effort, 2.) Even pace.
It was so helpful to have Candace by me the whole time to see if my even effort was the same as hers and the other runners. I think I did okay. Candace ran with me until about 12.7 miles when I told her to gun it to the finish!
Now, the only tricky part was knowing whether or not the last part of the race would be a little bit short or not. Last year, I think I came in about 40 seconds early (my GPS said it was barely 13 miles). So as I approached the finish, I saw that I was ahead quite a bit. I slowed down considerably, but it ended up being TOO MUCH! I had to dash to the finish and I crossed 8 seconds over 2:05.
^[Funny how all of our ponytails are doing the same thing].
Not gonna lie… I was super sad about this for like an hour after the race. Weird how I felt like a big failure. I’m usually pretty good at looking at the bright side, but I didn’t this time (until the sadness wore off a little later). WEIRD.
Oh, well. If I have the chance to pace this again, I’m gonna NAIL IT! And overall, there was a lot to celebrate! Many people absolutely crushed it on the course!
Amy broke 2 hours!
And another Amy, from fitnessmeetsfrosting, got a huge PR, also breaking 2 hours!
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY… as soon as I crossed the finish line, someone told me I have really nice skin. 😀 Hahaha, that’s always awesome to hear! Unless she was being sarcastic… my face was obviously covered in sweat.
All in all, I was so thankful for the opportunity to pace this awesome course again. I need to put a little less pressure on myself. Great job to the RunningAddicts pacers! I am always inspired and motivated by the great support and positive energy outpouring from all of you! Makes me smile 🙂
I rushed home to shower and get to church. After a bit of chilling and watching they play volleyball in the gym, Joe and I headed over to Milpitas for the basketball league game.
It’s definitely more fun to watch these games when I have super awesome girls to hang out with:
Gotta love this girl. She is so darn cute (she was too busy eating her popped corn to smile for the camera though):
Anyone race over the weekend?
What was the most scenic race you have ever run? [For me, it’s gotta be the Big Sur Int. Marathon]
Who’s going to Boston?!?!