Camarillo 1/2

Was supposed to run 14 miles today, but where's the fun in that if you can race instead! Picked up a registration for the Camarillo 1/2 marathon in October. Of course, what was a good idea back then, did not seem that hot this morning - with 43 F outside and a pouring rain. But hey - beats running in a 90 F dry heat, right?

Headed out to Camarillo, and the rain really picked up once I got off the 101. I parked near the starting line and got my packet - the environment looked pretty nasty. They were running a full, a 1/2 and a 5K, with staggered starting times (7:00am/7:30am/8:00am respectively). I felt for the people running the full - the rain just stopped and the road was caked in mud.

Soon after I put on my gear and left the warmth of my car. Warmed up for 5 mins or so, and did some stretches. The 1/2 had attracted a decent size crowd, probably close to 200 people or so. The gun went off and we headed out towards Las Posas, as "Highway to Hell" was blaring my my headphones. By the way, I have been running with Ironman Series Yurbuds for about 9 months now and gotta say that while the sounds gets a little distorted, they do stay in place no matter how much I sweat.

In any case, I wanted to see if I can maintain a consistent 7:15 pace throughout and it felt pretty easy on this course. Miles 3 and 4 were somewhat uphill, but then it was a nice stretch of a downhill coming up. It was getting warmer, and I was considering losing my gloves. I passed a few people running a half, and for a while was running solo, with only a few runners ahead by about 1/4 mile. Lots of drink stations were setup along the way, it felt like they were there every 1/2 mile. In one case the station was set up on the other side of the road, which was strange - but the road was closed to traffic, so it was not too bad, except for additional few yards I had to cover to get there and back to the edge of the road. The road was covered with enough slippery mud to make this for a challenging few miles, especially when we headed back towards Camarillo airport.

The last 4 miles were run around the airport, and it was a little confusing, since the road was sort of open to traffic. At one point we ran across the way, and the car was coming in from behind :). In any case, I was at about 7:12 min/mile coming up to the last 2 miles. I picked up the cadence a little, and started sprinting once we hit the turnaround behind the airport. Passed a few more people, and boom - ran into a serious headwind. Thankfully, we turned off the main road and ran on some dirt path for the last 1/2 mile. I hit the finish line, the watch was showing 1:34:36, which would make it for a solid PR.  Results here.

The organizers had a small table with your typical post race food - bagels, bananas, oranges, pretzels and some Recovery Powerbars. The Powerbars were pretty dense and chewy, and had to be washed down with 2 glasses of water. I liked them overall, but Clif bars are better IMO. In any case, hung around for a bit, talked to a few other finishers, and then headed back to the car.

When I got home, my entire backside was covered with dirt and mud! Off to watch the second half of the Wild Card weekend. And look at my ferocious finishing line look:


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