San Diego, CA | March 20
Another adventure with Beast Pacing!
This race has been on my calendar for MONTHS and I was soo stoked it was finally here! After getting in some miles at the club on Saturday (after like, ten weeks of being away), I headed home to get showered, finished packing, saying goodbye to Doug and the pup, and then headed back down to Jacky's house. Advantages to knowing tons of people doing this race? Carpool and hotel buddies! I was crashing with Jacky and her mom, so that was a definite advantage, compared to having to drive down the morning of the race like last weekend. After a mad dash to the expo (traffic sucked so we made it at 4:30 for a 5 pm closing time) and dinner with a dozen IERC runners, we made it to our hotel, got set for the morning and promptly passed out (me, at least).
The Beast team met up at 6:20 for a race start of 7:45. There are tons of us that paced this race, as Hot Chocolate sets it up as such: preferred corrals (7:00' pace to 11:30' pace) and open corrals (9:00' to 15:00' paces). There's all kinds of qualifications for preferred times and all here. I was pacing the 9:30 group in the preferred corrals. (I was supposed to be the 10:00 pacer but moved up about a week and a half ago, so as long as I had a good day and met my pace, I guaranteed myself a PR!)
One thing I'd heard about regularly from folks who've done this race before were the hills throughout the race, to which I always thought, Well, duh, it's San Diego! San Diego is HILLY!
The course runs through Balboa Park (re: uphill) the first 5K, then flattens out into some slight rolling hills. After winding down through Balboa Park again, there's a nasty little corkscrew up hill run at mile 7 but once you're at the top, it's a flat run and then will make its way mostly downhill for the remainder. With the start and finish near Petco Park, there's tons of room for the post-race party and fun that Hot Chocolate races involve... because duh, chocolate.
5K: 29:24, 9:28 pace
10K: 58:46, 9:28 pace
Finish: 1:28:27, 9:30 pace
Can you ask for anything more perfect? I've never nailed my paces that much and had such a great day doing it! Some of those hills made me work but overall the course gave me a great workout. I had a blast cheering on runners and got sooo many thank you's, which just totally made my day. Love getting to help people PR and make their goals, but there's nothing like other people thanking you for what you're doing. I just love to run - helping people out is just an added bonus!
Mission accomplished! AND - this is just icing the cake - I paced myself to a 6-minute 15K PR! I recognize that 15Ks are rare (this is my fourth ever), but I'm pretty stoked!
Did you tackle the hills yesterday? If not chocolate, what do you run for?