Two years ago I ran the America's Finest City Half Marathon in San Diego and ran a horrible race. I saw the finish clock as I ran towards it hit 2:00 and keep going. In 2009, I ran a 2:00:42. My time -- as painful as it was when all my friends ran much faster times -- was okay for the race but it was the way that I ran the race that was so bad.
The race starts at historic Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma. The first mile or two are relatively flat and run through the cemetery and then through beautiful neighborhoods. Then the course drops. The next five or so miles are downhill and fast. In 2009, I started the race with friends and when we hit the downhill we were flying. I remember checking out my Garmin and seeing it read sub-7:00 pace which is way too fast for me. And, of course, I died at the bottom. The route flattens out at this point for a few miles along the harbor before ramping back up through downtown to Balboa Park. I had zero energy left for even the flat portions. The hill to Balboa Park was a nightmare.
This year, I'm running my own race. Imagine that! AFC is this weekend and I plan to run a very smart race and walking away with at least a sub 1:50 finish. The weather could be a factor. The hill at the end will definitely be a factor. But I'm prepared and I have a game plan. I'm ready to kick this race's butt the way it kicked mine two years ago.
Do you have a race like that? One where you ran horribly and have plans to run it again, only smarter?