Sunday, May 19, 2013

Avenue of the Vines 2013 - Race Report

This was my second time running the Avenue of the Vines half marathon.  I did this race for the first time last year with my youngest daughter, Lindsey.  I don't remember much from that race other than I was really hot at the end and I tried to get Lindsey to run on without me but she wouldn't.

We had a good time during that race and mugged for the cameras along the way.  Lindsey kept me entertained with her Dr. Doolittle routine...she would bark, quack, moo, etc. at any animal we came across. Not only was it funny, but it kept other runners away from us.

Me & Lindsey in 2012

Lindsey has been busy with school this year and was unable to train like we did for 4 full weeks last year, so she didn't make it down for the race. I missed having her there, but I had plenty of other crazy people that did sign up for the race.  There were 6 members of Lodi Masters Triathletes signed up for the half (Eric, Rosa, Stephanie, Jordan, Nancy & myself) as well as our assistant to the assistant photographer (Michael Turner). We were also represented on the bicycle as James, Hot Stuff, and Johan lead the fast runners to the finish.


Lodi Masters Triathletes - Pre-Race


Pre-Race

Got up this morning and decided to have two pieces of toast as part of my standard "eggs on toast" race day breakfast. I had a glass of FRS and a cup of coffee too.  I did eat some Skittles on the car ride to Woodbridge winery and at about 6:45am I had a GU and some Gatorade.  The race was delayed and did not start until 7:15am so that threw the GU timing off a bit.

Eric revealed his new Garmin 910XT and mentioned that he got it on sale...6 days after I got mine...NOT on sale!!!  Thankfully, he didn't tell me how much he saved because that may have really messed with my head.  I could have spent the whole race composing my angry letter to REI telling them how I was ripped off. I didn't realize how much he saved until I got home and looked it up...then I flipped out (Not to worry, I took it back and they gave me back $119!).

F'n James

So, F'n James made an appearance this morning before the race.  He casually mentioned that he wanted to see me on the podium. What??? Are you trying to see if you can get me to punch you?  LOL!  I love getting on the podium... nothing makes me happier than to come home with some hardware.  That being said, I am realistic and based on last year's race results, I would have to average a pace that would blow my best 5K pace out of the water.  I'm not sure how these women run that fast, but I can't.  I explained that a podium finish wasn't in the cards for me and refrained from punching my coach ;-) F'n James!  ha ha ha ha ha

Race

I had the playlist on my iPod programmed with some slower songs in the beginning.  They were still songs that mentally got me going, but not the type that would have me running like a crazed fool right out of the gate. I tried to maintain a slower pace (I wanted to run about an 8:45 and ended up closer to 8:20). Mike Turner pulled out ahead of me after mile 1 and I resisted the urge to chase him down.

Not chasing him down was one of the 3 goals I had for this race:

1) Run my own race (don't worry if people pass me)
2) Average a 8:30 pace
3) Stick to my nutrition plan

My nutrition plan included eating the two GU packs I strapped to my race belt as well as keeping properly hydrated.  At last year's race, I don't remember drinking much, this time I actually stopped at the aid stations so I could get the water into my mouth instead of down my shirt. I tried timing my GU's so that I would eat them right before the aid station so I could wash them down with some water.

I eventually caught up with Turner somewhere around mile 8 as he ran head on into the dreaded "wall".  A little while later, Mojo caught up with me.  I knew that was bound to happen sooner or later. As Mojo pulled away from me, I considered walking.

When I'm racing, I don't have the typical angel and a devil on my shoulders.  Instead, I have a super motivated, rah rah person on one side and a quitter on the other.  As soon as Mojo passed me, the quitter started in with "Why don't you just walk?", "Do you know you just got passed by a 50 year old?", "It's really hot out here." Ugh!!!

Luckily the rah rah person woke up and pointed out that my BFF would keep running no matter what.  I didn't need to walk. So I sucked it up and kept going.  I'm glad I did, because Mojo eased up a bit and I was able to catch up with him and follow him in across the finish.

Highlights

I finished this year's race at 1:51.45 (8:32 pace) and was 12th in my age group (sorry James LOL).  I am thrilled with my results.  I never felt winded and finished the race with a smile. Can't wait to do this again at the end of July after swimming 1.2 miles and biking 56 miles.  What was I thinking???