On Friday evening, Ashley, Leslie, and I headed out for a girls weekend in Davis (my schedule prevented an earlier departure time). We stopped halfway in Walnut Creek to get some good carbs at a delicious little Italian restaurant (the gnocchi was so good!). Then back out on the road. It wasn’t a very exciting evening as we promptly fell asleep once we got to the hotel.
The original plan for the day was that we would all run the half marathon. However, as the saying goes the best laid plans… Leslie ended up having a 22 mile run scheduled for her Boston Marathon training and Ashley opted for a shorter distance (choosing the 7 mile run). Leslie’s plan originally called for her to run her 13.1 miles at a 7:15 pace, but with a cold coming on she decided to run only 5 miles at this pace. This allowed Leslie and I to run most of the half together. After she ran a couple miles, we met back up and decided that maybe an 8 minute pace would be good. The decision went something like this: L – “what pace you thinking?” M – “I don’t know.” L – “8 minute pace?” M – “Sure,” Serious planning there.
We were disappointed that there were only 4 port-a-potties at the start and agreed we would have to stop at the first one we saw. While it was a bummer that they did not have more at the start, they seemed to have a good amount on the course. We used the first one, at the 4 mile mark.
We never ran an 8 minute pace. The first 4 miles were just a race to the bathroom (7:31, 7:42, 7:40, 7:23). The next 5ish miles were out and back along the freeway. This was my least favorite part of the course. It was visually boring, had no shade, and the exhaust from the cars bugged me. We both wanted to out of that section (7:37, 7:33, 7:30, 7:40, 7:37). At one point, Leslie noted we were running a 7:30 pace and might want to slow down. I agreed, I had no intention of running that pace for the half but clearly we did not slow down much.
The rest of the race was through parks and bike paths. It was never too busy, except a few times when the half marathoners overlapped with the 7 miler and 7k runners. It was nice and shady in these sections, much better than the freeway miles. There were a lot of turns in the course, but nothing too terrible. The only problem was the race coincided with Little League opening day so when we got back near the start, there was a lot of people walking on the race course. Due to this some people missed turns in the race, including Leslie, and ran some extra mileage. Hopefully in the future they don’t make this scheduling mistake. For a good portion of the race, we were entertained by a guy running ahead of us who high-fived many of the spectators and volunteers, as well as each mile marker. I hadn’t seen that tradition before in a race. Around mile 9 or 10, Leslie picked up her pace to get in her 7:15 miles and I kept around the same pace I had been running. I was pretty consistent with my pace overall (7:39, 7:33, 7:33, 7:28).
I crossed the finish line with a time of 1:41:55. That is only about 30 seconds slower than my PR and included the bathroom break. (I paused my watch for the break and had a finishing time of 1:40:12 an unofficial PR!). It would have been really cool for it to have been an official PR but I’m still really stoked about my finishing time as I never felt that I was running too hard and was able to keep a conversation with Leslie for a good portion of the run.
We met up with Ashley at the finish, Leslie handed me her (giant) medal and headed out to finish off her long run. After she returned we enjoyed a well deserved beer. Before leaving Davis, we enjoyed a good brunch at de Vere’s Irish Pub. Overall, this was a great little getaway. It just was too short!