Sunday, March 25, 2012

Inaugural San Diego Chocolate 15k

Wow! Wow! Wow! Amazing course and I'm not just saying that because I got a sugar rush from all the chocolate! 
My friend & I arrived early, 6:00am, to ensure we had enough time for potty breaks.  Race time was 7:15am. There were already vendors set up with a hospitality tent! Unbelievable right?! Inside the tent, there was hot chocolate & coffee available in a plastic recyclable cups; self serve. Chips, danishes, & bananas were also available.  I am new to the race circuits, but have never seen this kind of set up. The folding chairs were even padded! There were a lot of porta potties with little to no lines. No kidding. I know the race was only a 5k/15k but there were over 2,000 people there. 
The start line started on a hill going up beside Petco Stadium. If I hadn't already geeked out over the course & elevation charts, I would have thought this was strange, but this was just a small sample of what laid ahead.  Mile 1 through 2 took you up rolling hills through downtown San Diego around Balboa Stadium.  Heading into Mile 2 hill was steep and push up around into the backside of Naval Hospital Balboa.  Here, at mile 3,  we steadily paced up hill with little flats helping me stretch out the back of my legs. Before the race, my friend gave me some great advised because I struggle on hill running. She told me to drop my arms down & relax my shoulders allow my legs to do all the work. This changed my pace and my endurance in the hills and paid off. Mile 4, we continued up hill coming quickly down into Morely Field Dog Park. It's very beautiful through here!  So lovely and a lot more flat than what we had already ran.  Mile 5 is very strange. Ram Racing helped set up the course and this mile seems to be one that said, "oh hey we need more hills and the runners haven't quite reached the very top peak of San Diego, so let's throw in another ass whooping steep hill"! Wow! Coming off mile 5 into mile 6 was a crazy long downhill, the kind that can jog calcium deposits off your teeth!  I had seen the elevation chart of this course.  I knew in order to have a chance of finishing this race in 1hr 40min, my goal, I had to push it here, because the I-ate-all-the-other-hills-for-breakfast-hill was coming up at mile 7! I left my friend for awhile pulling ahead at mile 6, but knew she'd catch up on mile 7.  I really cooled off coming down mile 6 & did a mental check preparing for....
Mile 7, crazy, curvey, steep, sweat-pouring hill!  I pushed myself to keep from walking.  This is where I swore we couldn't get any higher in San Diego.  It just had to go down eventually.  My friend ran passed me almost 1/2 way up the hill.  She's amazing!  I caught up with her coming down into 8th mile.  About quarter of mile before the 9 mile there was another steep hill.  Of coarse! I mentally kept telling myself, you can keep up, but backed off as headed into the 9th mile.  My friend pulled ahead and I reviewed this race in my head. We had started out slow at 10:18minute pace at the 1st mile marker. We picked up speed at the 6 mile on.  I sorta did a body check & figured a had a little more in me to pick up the pace in the last 1/2 mile. I wasn't able to catch up with my friend & was a few second behind her at the finish line. My snazzy Timex read 1:32:49.  My official time was:
1hr 32min 07 sec
pace: 09min 53sec
overall: 1167 of 2675
age group: 98 of 278
sex: 743 of 2017

Thanks San Diego for the races!  It's been fantastic month!


  1. Well done :-)

    It sounds like you had a great day!

    1. Lynne, Thanks you! I hope this becomes an annual race event. It showed me how far I can push my body without breaking it.