Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fontana Half Marathon Race Recap

Yesterday I ran my 10th Half Marathon at the Fontana Days RunI loved that race.  I highly recommend it.
It was super well organized, the volunteers were awesome, everyone was really nice and supportive.  The Fontana Police was also great,  helping on the course and every officer I saw said something encouraging to the runners.

They offered race day packet pick up but I decided to go Friday afternoon and save me some trouble on the morning of the race.  It could not have been easier.  I got my bib, shirt and goodie bag.  Took me less than 10 minutes.  The shirt is a black tech shirt.  They let me change my original Med to a small, that was nice.  In the goodie back was a sticker and a pin from the race with some bars and other samples.  Sticker and pin = very nice touch I thought.

After that we headed to a birthday party at the park and I was wearing flip flops...not very smart the day before a race....and I twisted my left ankle....of course I I was a little worried.  I iced it as soon as I got home and I put on my running shoes to get some support and hoped for the best.

Alarm went beeeep beeeep BEEEEP!!!! at 4 am.   I went to the race alone and Bill and the kids left much later to come support me.  Every runner had to take a bus to get to the start, no exception.  The first bus was at 5 am and the last one was 6:20 am.   Start of the race was 7:30 am.  I left my house around 5 am.  I had no problem finding a parking spot and I did not have to wait for the bus.  I got to the top of the canyon around 6:15 am and I waited for the start.  I was nervous so I used the porta potty 3 times...I just kept going at the back of the line. :)
In the lines I spotted Andrea, who is an alternate on the NUUN Hood to Coast team.  Her blog is  The MF Dre , check it out!  It was really nice to meet her in person.  What a nice gal she is!   I wished her a good race and I went to line up for the start.  I went towards to back because it was all downhill and I was a little nervous about that.

The race started right on time, no ceremony just the horn and we were off.  The sun was already shinning on us, that was not good for me who struggles in the heat.  Even if the temperature did not reach 80 during the race, to me it felt hot running in the sun like that. 

It was steep at the beginning.  First step I felt a pain in my groin that never went away.  Each step hurt on the left side.  I have felt that pain for a week now it is not super sharp but it is there.  I iced every night.  It is still hurting today. :( Anyway back to the race.  I tried to not think about the pain and told myself "You waited the whole year for this race now suck it up!" Took me a few minutes to get used to going downhill and I was checking my watch a lot..I did not want to go out too fast only to crash at mile 6 or something so I held back.  Looking back I think I was way too cautious.  Next year I will not do that.  I really liked the course.  Going down the canyon it was really nice, no cars just the nature, I loved that part the best.  This was like that for 6 miles and all going down, after that the big downhill part of the course is done.  At mile 7 I thought I saw Bill and the boys and I started waving like a crazy person and as I got closer I realized it was not them....oooopsy.  Next mile he would be there. That is 15 fway behind me, and the van for race.  They did have a vehicle on the course like they said they would.  I did see many runners taking walking breaks and I saw ZERO runner being pulled off the course for walking. 

They had plenty of water at each station with volunteers at all the stations.  Several stations had water in cups or runners could actually grab a water bottle and take it with them.  I took water at every station even if I had my hand held bottle.  I dumped a cup on my head at each station because I got hot very fast in that sun.  I took salt sticks 3 times during the race.  I hate 2 bites of waffle stinger...that is all my stomach could handle :(  I had to stop once for bathroom..  I had asked Bill to have a fresh bottle of water for me ready and I am so happy he was there at mile 8 to give it to me.  Gave me a boost to see the kids.  I was getting tired.  I chatted with 2 runners for a couple miles, that was nice.  One was at half marathon #21 and the other was running her first one.  Mile 1o: the mother of all side ache.  REALLY???? Mile 10! I was furious.  I cussed in French.  I tried changing my breathing, slowing down, nothing worked.  It was so painful.  I had no choice but to walk.  CRAP CRAP CRAP.  I was so mad.  I kept saying "Come on!" and I would try to run again..and it would still hurt.  It took a whole mile of that to get better.  Enough to run again anyway.   I did struggle until the end.  Once again no strong finish.  I had dreams about finishing strong jumping over the finish line...well still a fail on that.  One day I will finish jumping for joy.  But  yesterday I finished like I did 90% of my races...DRY HEAVING....booo hooo.  This was before the dry heaves started.

Looks like I am OK....but 2 sec after that last picture was taken, I had bad dry heaves...and a guy came to my rescue and brought me to a chair...all that in front of Bill and the boys.  Bill was not too happy but I was OK , I sat for a couple minutes only. 
I ran into Andrea who had a great race and a PR! 

  They had bags with fruit and a bar and water for everyone.  Again really organized.

They also had free massages!

And also free instant picture!

Photographer said to give the thumbs up and he snap the picture too fast! :)

So even though I did have a few difficulties I loved that race and I will do it again for sure. 

What? Her time? It was this much:

My first time under 2:20. 
1 min 45 sec PR.
I am happy but I did think I would do better than that.
But I am happy. 
My first half was 01-23-11 and my time was 2:42:xx so 23 minutes improvement between 1 and 10..that is not bad.

Today my legs hurt.  Downhill hurts.  But I loved it. 
I feel lucky that I get to do this, you know be at the start of a race and be at the finish also.
Sorry this was long.
Thank you for reading!


Yo Momma Runs said...

Congrats on your PR! It's so cool to look back and see progress! And dry heaving is horrible. Hope your next race is dry heave free. I'm sure the high temps didn't help at all! Love the sticker with the swag too.

XLMIC said...

Super congrats, Caroline!!!! That is awesome :)

Roelien said...

Fantastic, congrats on your pr, Caroline!
You are an inspiration to me. Next sunday I will be running my first half marathon (in Holland).

Ik is so nice to read your eperiences it helps me prepare, thank you... said...

HUGE PR - Congrats!!!! Love your race report. I have a friend who dry heaves only at half marathon races, she is fine at longer or shorter races, not sure what this is. Maybe stress related? I hope you feel better today.

abbi said...

Congrats on your PR. Sorry about the feeling at the end again but you look strong! :)

kristen said...

That thumb almost up picture is hilarious!
Congratulations on a PR despite feeling like crap. I hope your next race feels better!

Christina said...

Congrats on finishing #10 and improving on time! I love your instant photo in the end - that is really neat! Loving your running skirt too. Many many more congrats to you!

Carrie FamilyFitnessFood said...

Congratulations on your PR!! That's awesome even with the stop. It looks like the handheld is helping a little bit. Congrats!!

Megan said...

Awesome run and congratulations on your new PR! Every minute (and second!) counts!

Way to go!

misszippy said...

A big 'ole PR! Congrats! And I am amazed you were dry heaving b/c you have a smile on your face just before the finish line!

I just found Andrea's blog and love it.

TinaFab said...

OMG! WOOT on the PB! i say that will give this CDN luck on my next half mara - june 16th. Just outside of Calgary - it's an inaug race - and the Finishers Medal is hand-made,clay-fired
Small...only a few hundred. Hoping i can nail somewhere between 2:20-2:25. Without dryheaves. Gotta love it when you do a race and you immediately know you will do it again!

macnic said...

Woo! Congrats on your PB! What a great job even with your troubles! I also really like your outfit!

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

Congrats on a great pr!
Did you always have stomach troubles even at the beginning? I never did and then they started to creep up on me in later races.

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

A new PR! Yeah!
And that skirt looks great on you.

middleagedrunner said...

Nice PR, kicking butt!
Bummer about the vomming- belly issues are such a drag...
Really great job and awesome job snagging that speedy time :-)

Terzah said...

Great PR--congratulations again (though I am sorry about the stupid dry heaving)! The report was NOT too long.

Coy Martinez said...

Way to go on a PR!!! Don't feel bad about all that extra stuff that comes along, I deal with it too! I get side stitches and I get exercising induced allergies. When I run, my nose runs profusely and my ears plug up to where I can barely hear! The other day my throat closed up when I was on my bike and I passed someone mowing their yard! I wonder if your dry heaves have to do with your lungs calming down as soon as you stop?

Darlene said...

A PR!! Whoo Hoo! You look great in the photos!

Nelly said...

Congrats on the PR!

Sounds like a great race with a slight downhill.

What is with the van that pulls people off the course for walking? Only though if they fall below a certain pace or something so the roads can be opened faster I'm assuming?

Tricia said...

You are making such great progress! Other than the dry heaves of course. Race sounds like a nice one! Congrats in the PR.

Neon Blonde Runner said...

congrats on your PR you've made HUGE progress in your 10 half marathons, I'm impressed :)

Giorgio said...

Congrats on your 10th Half Marathon and on your PR!
Beautiful photo of you while you were crossing the finish line :)
I really enjoyed reading your race report!

Michael said...

Congrats on the new PR!! I think my next goal (maybe by next year) is to try to run a race around won't be easy, but hopefully I can do it! Love your outfit btw. Sorry, your race ended with dry heaves again. That's got to be miserable :(

Corey said...

Awesome job on the PR! Congrats! I love that they had someone there taking FREE pictures! That never happens. I also laughed at how you just kept going to the back of the porta potty line to go again. I SO know the feeling :)

Kathy said...

Fabulous report. GREAT job!!! I am so happy for you! I agree, downhill hurts but ... WHEEEEE!

brg said...

Congrats on a PR!! And congrats on #10 - that's big too! You should totally be proud of yourself. :)

I raced a what I thought was a downhill half on Sunday. (1100ft of downhill but I failed to note the 800+ of climbing ) And today (Wednesday) I am still hobbling around. ouchie!

Black Knight said...

All the pictures are beautiful but the "free instant" one is priceless.
Congrats on your new PR, I am sure that the under 2:10 is in your near future.

Jill said...

Woohoo, girl! What a great race (even with a few issues :))...I'm so happy for you and your new PR! Downhill races are tough on the ole quads for sure, hope you are recovering well and enjoying your successful day :). LOVE all the pictures, thanks for sharing them!

bobbi said...

Congrats on your new PR!! YAY!

Colleen said...

Congrats on the PR Caroline! :) And you look darling which is always important on race day! :)

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats on your PR and race!!!

I like the race shirt