Yesterday’s race brings back memories from my first ever half marathon, which just so happened to be the La Jolla half. I probably did everything wrong, but ended up with my best La Jolla time. How? It’s become even more of a mystery to me.
1. Didn’t buy a bib when I started training. I planned to do this with a couple of friends. But they kept debating whether or not they wanted to do it. I was committed, and had started a 10-week training plan (from Marathon Rookie). By week 6, after I had finished my first ever 10 mile run, I decided to sign up. But to my dismay, the race was sold out. This was the most crushing thing ever. Luckily, I was able to buy a bib from a friend’s friend. I don’t know if transferring bibs was in effect (I didn’t do this), but I essentially ran my first half marathon as not myself.
2. Wore inappropriate clothing. Cotton race t-shirt, basketball shorts…yep. I don’t even think I wore a watch.
3. Didn’t know the course. Only the day before when my parents were down did we drive the course route (I was limited in mobility. Keep in mind I still didn’t have a car down here at this point). I knew there was a hill at mile 6, but I assumed it was the slight and continuous incline of Torrey Pines Road. Only during the race when I saw everyone go into the Reserve did I realize, “Oh shit, we’re running into the mountain?!”
4. Experimenting with a vegetarian diet. My most regretful moment was probably going out to eat afterwards at a burger joint, only to eat a veggie burger (which was sub-par).
At this point in my running “career,” I was just trying to get back into shape after a lapse in running, priorities, and judgement. I went, what I, myself, deem “crazy,” for one quarter. I started going out too much and drinking too much. After this short period, I just felt disgusting. I thought, what better way to get back into shape than to commit myself to run 13.1 miles. So ensued the journey of running half marathons, and the re-focus on living a healthy lifestyle.