My legs were dead after Leona Divide weekend runs. So, I took it easy and Alan and I decided to run the OC half as an easy, recovery run. I was not a fan of the expo; we attended in the midst of the children’s 5K festivities. While I love that they encourage young runners and could already picture our taking a child to that event years down the road, I hated getting through the crowds at the fairgrounds to pick up the bib.
Traffic was horrendous so we made sure to leave our house early Sunday and park so that we would have our choice of shuttle times. We boarded the next to the last round of half marathon shuttles and arrived at the start with barely enough time for a porta potty stop; the lines were long and we had to run to the front so that we could start in corral A.
The race started with a little gradual uphill and then a long downhill; the course bids itself as a net downhill and that downhill was the only significant one the entire race. We started out faster than planned but our legs reminded us that we were supposed to be taking it easy; I ran 8 miles the day prior to the race and I started to feel all the recent miles around mile 6 of the race. My knee started locking up and I began cursing pavement and wishing I had worn my compression tights as they seem to help my knee. Around mile 11, I realized that the course had more uphills than advertised; while I normally love hills, I just wanted a downhill as the flat and uphills were killing my knee. Our goal prior to the race was to finish in under 2 hours and we finished in 1:58; only a few months ago Alan struggled to run sub 2 hours for the half distance so finishing in that time the week after an ultra made us super happy.
I planned on running a long run the last weekend but work and school deadlines sidelined that. So, I have been in taper mode for the past couple of weeks. It’s definitely a longer taper than I wanted but I got in some stronger runs and some soul-searching runs that will come in handy during next weekend’s adventure.