Wife and I are training for the Carlsbad Half Marathon in January. Wife has already run both a marathon and a half marathon so luckily she has already created a training plan. This is the final week… of that half marathon training program.
This was the final week of our training program. Time to lower our running distance and rest up for the big race.
Wednesday – 3 miles
We took the dog just around the neighborhood and the run was a little rough on our bodies. Wife’s knees felt achey and I did not feel good until we hit that third mile. Just goes to show that our training now makes the first three miles tough, but it gets a lot easier once we find our rhythm.
Friday – 3 miles
Our training program wanted us to run 5 miles but Wife’s knees really ached so we reduced it to 3 miles in the middle of the run. This also made the evening much more relaxed and less painful.
Sunday – 13.1 miles
Back in 1996 while nerding it up and talking about Star Trek, I met a young gentleman by the name of Tom. 13 years have now passed and luckily I still talk to this now older gentleman because he lives in Carlsbad. The Carlsbad Half Marathon started and ended at the Westfield Plaza Camino Real mall and Tom lived about 1.5 miles away. That meant we did not have to get up at 4 in the morning (like my parents did) to make it by race time at 7:30 am. However, this did lull us into complacency because we took a little longer getting out the door than we planned for.
We left Tom’s place at 6:50 am and arrived a little after 7 am at the mall. We applied body glide (a godsend that must be used by every runner) and our water fanny packs and headed to the race’s starting line. On our way Wife needed to use the restroom and the starting time was drawing nearer. Feeling rushed we started to run to the bathroom area and needed to get around a planter in the parking lot. I hopped through a nice break in the bush and Wife followed suit. Unfortunately, that went very wrong. Wife’s foot caught the edge of the curb and she went straight down. Since I was in front of her I just heard the thump as she hit the ground and my heart sank.
I turned around to see Wife sprawled on the asphalt as her water bottle rolled past my feet. I quickly helped her up to see if she was okay. Her knees (the part that ached during the week’s earlier runs) were scratched up along with her left shoulder. She held her left wrist in pain with her half marathon dreams now passing before her eyes. Someone picked up the water bottle and handed it to us as we headed toward the bathrooms discussing whether or not she wanted to run. Wife said her knees felt okay but her wrist really hurt. She used the restroom and came back out barely holding back her tears but you could see her resolve. She later shared she was trying not to cry because she was worried she wouldn’t be able to breathe when the run started from all the snot! She had trained 8 weeks for this day and she wanted to run the race.
By now the race had started realeasing the waves of people. We were in wave 5 so we had a little bit of time. We headed toward our group and realized we had not yet stretched due to the incident. I tried my best but only had a few minutes and Wife did nothing as she tried to focus on anything but her wrist. Our wave moved up to the front and we went with it. The emcee picked up the bull horn and sounded the start of the race. We shuffled to the starting line, bruised (we hoped) wrist and all.
The first few miles of course were a little rough getting our bodies into a rhythm. Wife started feeling better and we started picking up a little speed. Just before mile 3 we had a little pick me up: my parents anxiously waited on the sidewalk to cheer us on. My dad tried to film us but we were just too fast even for the simple-to-use Flip camera. Soon we came out next to the ocean running in the perfect weather. Just after mile 6 we had a big hill but we ran up it and felt good. At mile 7 we passed the pace runner holding the 2:20 sign which meant we were running faster than we had expected (we thought our time would be 2:30). At mile 8.5 my parents shouted encouragements again while comfortable in their bright purple Saints jackets (it made them easy to spot).
With that extra boost we headed into the final stretch of the race with less than 5 miles to go (Wife had thought we only had 3 miles left for some reason-ah delirium). Our bodies felt great, injuries and all and we really began to push ourselves as we passed the power plant (a good visual landmark) and headed back into downtown Carlsbad. Past mile 11 we met up with Terry, Wife’s parent’s neighbor, but unfortunately he had just entered the walking part of his running (you run real fast, then walk, then repeat). We left him behind and then mile 12 came and we picked it up thanks to the downhill to the finish line. At mile 13 we began sprinting with only .1 miles left to go. During that last .1 miles, Wife’s friend Vanessa caught us and cheered us on and in the last 100 feet, Terry’s wife Ann saw us and yelled encouragements at us. We crossed the finish line tired and elated because the clock showed a time of 2:23, much better than we anticipated.
Volunteers handed us our medal for completion and we walked as best we could over to wait in front of the Sears for my parents, Tom, and Vanessa. After a bit of talking we drove back to Tom’s house, conveniently located, for a shower and then off to The Broken Yolk for a well deserved breakfast. After breakfast and a nap we took Wife to the doctor to find out about her wrist. Luckily, it was only sprained and should heal just fine. After arriving back home from the doctors we checked for our time and became elated when we saw it was 2:12:05, a time of 10:05 per mile, a full minute faster than we anticipated. What a way to end the day.
Now I wrote “Final Week…” because while this race is behind us two more, La Jolla Half Marathon and the America’s Finest City Half Marathon, are ahead in order to finish the Triple Crown. We will take a week off to heal the bodies but then we start into a holding pattern of running before kicking up our mileage again for the April run.
We could not have done this without encouragement from our family and friends. We would especially like to thank Tom for housing us, helping us load up on carbohydrates, and coming to support us during the race (his brother and sister-in-law raced, too), Vanessa for coming to see us and some of her friends run, and my parents for waking up early and making the trek up to cheer us on. We hope to see you all at our next run in La Jolla.
Check out our video and pictures of the race: