Carlsbad 2010

It was a picture perfect morning for the Carlsbad 1/2 Marathon. Formerly known by the Neuschwander clan as the "Family Challenge". My mother -in - law claims the Carlsbad 1/2 to be her "signature event." Sadly, I was the solo family representative this year. Seth and Val just had a baby and Cindy and Bruce were busy with work. As luck would have it when Tim's schedule came out he was on call for today.

The title of "Family Champ" is HUGE. After many adjustment for injuries, illness, under training, over training, and man made "fuel belts", my father in law Bruce was deemed the winner. He had the best "age graded" time. I made certain he got the recognition he deserved.

I had a great day of running. I was off my a minute from last years PR. However, in 2009 there was more at stake. I engaged in a real dogfight to close a large gap on Seth and Bruce. I almost caught those darn boys. Grrr. This year I am certain I would have had them;) Sorry for the lack of excitement, but there were no dramatics or theatrics out of me today.
I do well in a race when I have a deeply set intention, like catching "those boys". I didn't feel ready to push then envelope and dig too deep yet. I'm still in fun mode. Plus, there was a chance that Tim might have some free time in the afternoon to go mtn biking with me;)
At the start I lined up with the 1:40 pace group. The pacer started off fast for a 1:40. I found myself working hard to breathe. I tried to relax a bit but after a few minutes we were still running at a 6:50/mile pace (according to my Garmin). Not having done any speed work since May, I knew attempting to run this pace would be a disaster. I backed off to where I could breathe easy. Ahh, true love. My desired pace came surprisingly easy.

I know one can't achieve big if one doesn't dream big and believe, but get real. I ate my share of Christmas cookies. I rarely wear my Garmin these days. I know how far I'm running and ignorance is bliss. Seeing the "goal" race pace on the watch and having it feel so good was such a delight. I kept thinking "this is why we race." We get to go faster than in training and it feels better. Priceless. That's why we train hard. I couldn't help but notice how happy the spectators looked and how beautiful it was. Running on the Pacific Coast Highway with no cars = Fun. It's like being a kid on a playground at recess.
The first 5 miles went by quickly. I stepped it up a bit for the second 5 miles. I smiled at the turn around. Oat Bag....I was headed toward the barn. Time to giddy up a bit. I ran the second half 60 seconds faster then the first.

Mile 10 came. I knew if I wanted to finish on par with last year it was time to kick it in high gear. I saw the 1:40 sign ahead of me. With great satisfaction I reeled in the sign, then left it behind. The 1:40 pacer was now on pace for about a 1:44, I'm guessing. The adages apply. If it seems too good to be true, it is. The watch doesn't lie. The ego boost was nice. If I wanted to set a new PR I needed to pick it up NOW!
I had an angel and a devil on my shoulder. The angel said "Go! Now! Take it home. You can do it." The devil said " 3 miles is a long way to go." I tried to pick it up a bit. My efforts went up but it was more of a fight to stay on pace.
At mile 12 a man ran passed me. His wife said "Nice pace, honey." He replied "Not bad for 30 minutes a day" That was pretty humbling, but also pretty insightful. We all have 30 minutes, we just need to make them count. He sounded really proud of his 30 minute/day. Although humbled, I felt proud of him.
Then his wife said " I'm going to run you in." It was mile 12. She was wearing tight jeans, a puffer jacket, and stylish street shoes. All I could think was "Have some pride kid! You can't let a women wearing tight jeans and a down filled coat outrun you." I dug a little bit then. Thank goodness for the downhill. If I could have caught my breath I would have shouted "Coming through, women in jeans on the loose. Look out below!"
I ran hard but I soon felt like I was running out of gas. I looked at my watch 13.1 miles and no finish line. Well, I never claimed to run in a straight line. I probably should not have looked at the watch at that moment. I must have been in "zone 5" because the voice of evil resurfaced and said "Nice job but 13.1 miles is a half marathon. Time to call it a day." Luckily, I saw the finish line and headed across. Not the best ever, but good enough. I smiled, it was fun. Plus, the damage was less than I thought it would be. The joys of being Type B .
Yes, there was a runner under Tim's name. This morning Tim was saving Granny's spine so we gave his spot to a deserving individual. As far as the Family Challenge goes......"I win, I win"

Carlsbad 1/2 Memories:

2009's waltz to the start.

This picture reminds me of when Tim's parents introduced me to Madonna Buder. She got confused and thought Bruce was my Dad and said we looked exactly alike. Looking at that picture I can see why she thought that.

2008: Carlsbad 1/2

The face of pure happiness.

I PR'd by 9 minutes that day and had so much fun along the way.

Friends to share the fun with!

2009: Family Portrait.

The Neuschwander clan plus the Keebler Elf.

I hope the Neuschwander family is represented at Carlsbad to infinity and beyond!


Caroline said...

Great race Jen!

tim said...

Nice job, Jen! I felt pretty good out there too!

cindy said...

Great race Jen. Look for a family resurgence next year. Signature race 2011 here we come!

Rachel said...

Congrats ms speedy!
Elf: Before I saw the picture, I thought you were referring to yourself as the Keebler Elf and was totally confused. (Maybe she's the shortest? is that a pet name? do they have a shrine of keebler elf cookies because it helps them race fast? All thoughts through my head). Then I laughed hard when it actually was the Keebler Elf, and yes you are shorter than said elf. And I say that with love from a fellow shorty(ish).

Charisa said...

Congrats on your race! Loved your description of the tight pants lady :)

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

WOO HOO! Great job out there! I would have done the SAME thing with the tight-jeans-puffy-jacket lady. Ugh. :) Way to keep things in perspective as well - I feel the same this time of year as you do :) Hope that you and Tim had a great time mountain biking - yea!