I signed up for this race when we were still living in Virginia. I saw the words “Wounded Warrior” and that was all it took. This cause is close to my heart. My husband, aka Under Water Samurai, is an Iraq War Veteran and we have have so many friends who have been effected by injuries sustained in Iraq and Afganistan. There was no doubt in my mind I was signing up for this race… anything and everything I can do to help our warriors.
In addition to running for the cause, this race was right in the middle of my marathon training so I planned on using it as a gauge to test my speed and progress. The problem with this is that, about three weeks ago I had a small “break up” with running. For the first time in 4 years I took two full weeks off, because I was really not enjoying my training and we were right in the middle of unpacking and putting away our belongings into our new house.
I woke up race morning having no idea what to expect… lack of training and a weather forecast of clear skies and 95 degrees. It did not seem promising but I was still hopeful. I left the house and drove out to the Navy Base in Camarillo. It was an “Open” base that day, but they still stopped cars, checked ID’s and had the EOD Canines (Bomb sniffing dogs). We drove to the airfield and were told we would be bussed to the start line. Apparently, the busses did not show and they had two Van’s working overtime to get runners to the starting line area.Some people to had to walk in or wait quite some time for the vans to transport them. The Race Directors delayed the start 15 minutes due to this snafu, and the temp was on the rise at this point.
I chatted with some of the participates while waiting for the gun to go off. I Met Chelsea and Keely, two inspiring sisters and bad a$$ running moms.
Then ran into this runner who was wearing a shirt I LOVED and it happens to be on sale right now! Click HERE to get one for yourself.
Not the best picture, but this shirt is flattering and the girl was saying it made her “feel fast.” It made her look fast too…I think she was… she smoked past me. I want that shirt.
Then there was this tough guy, MA2 Langehenning, who in a quick moment loved on his boy, MWD “Yago”. Really touching to see these two working military friends show a moment of affection.
The race started about 7:45am and we were off. It started really fast, not too crowded but it seemed really fast to me for a half marathon. I settled down and found a good rhythm. Around 7:50 pace. I really wanted to be conservative and try for negative splits. 7:50 felt good, until around mile 5 when I started to get the chills and feel overheated. It was completely exposed, not one drop of shade, and the sun was blazing down on us. It was intense and as soon as I felt those chills I knew it was going to be a tough race.
I don’t usually run with hydration but this time I had my bottle filled with Nuun. The Nuun was gone by mile three and I was stopping at water stations filling my bottle. Around mile 9, I was done for and everything fell apart. The course was flat but exposed, on a cold day this would be a near perfect run. One section runs up along the Pacific Ocean, simply gorgeous. There were these wafts of manure smell on parts of the course. The strawberries you eat primarily come from the agriculture around the base and you get the occasional dose of fertilizer smell in and around this area. Not pleasant, but no big deal either.
At the end of this race I considered DNF’ing. I almost vomited several times and was dizzy. Perhaps not the wisest choice on my part to carry on, but I kept telling myself that this was for the Wounded Warriors.. I HAD to finish, for them, and I did because many of them can not.
My family was waiting for me at the finish line and guided me towards medical. I came close to needing their help, but ended up slowly recovering on my own.
Other nice features…
- They had a nice finish area with bananas, water and a BBQ going.
- A DJ playing really good music (Not just top 20).
- Very well organized bag check
- Several emails from MWR, updating you on race details
- Massage for runners- post race
- A playground area for kids
- Plenty of Port-o-Potties
- Flat fast course
- For a great cause
- Nice Tech Race shirt
- Finisher’s Medal
Not so nice features…
- Manure smell
- Transportation issues
I think the good far outweighs the bad… don’t you think?
Here are my splits. You can see where the heat gets to me and I crash at mile 9.. ugh!
Time: 1:48:23 Average Pace 8:16
I ended up coming in 4/40 in my AG. A bit surprising to me because I felt so horrible, but I think everyone had a rough day.
Have you every had a horrible race?
What “cause” is close to your heart?