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Silver Strand Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Imperial Beach, California
United States
KOZ Enterprises
75F / 24C
Total Time = 1h 42m 38s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Woke up really early (3:00AM) to meet up with a friend and drive down to Imperial Beach. (About 45 Miles)

Peanut Butter Toast
Event warmup:

1 Mile job with 3x100 Pickups
  • 1h 42m 38s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 50s  min/mile

The History

I ran the Silver Strand last year and was my first long distance road race. (Had run a 10k about 15 years earlier) The race did not go well partly due to the heat, and mostly due to my inexperience. This year my hope was to return and do better than last year.

That was going to be made a bit tougher by the fact that I am in the middle of training for my next marathon and planned on training though this race. (It is a Tuneup Race in Pfitz speak)

The Plan

My plan was to run this as a hard training run with a well managed pace and also to try out a few "New" aspects of my race strategy. I want to run my next Marathon without carrying water and just rely on water provided on the course. The weather report was predicting a possibility of 80 degrees by Mid-Morning, so I was also going to be measuring my ability to manage in the heat.

The course is very flat for the first 8 miles and the goal was to tightly manage my pace. 7:30-7:40. The next 4 are pretty hilly and the goal was to try and maintain constant effort on the uphills and take advantage of the downhill. This is the part of the course where I blew up last year. It is on a Navy Base and the roads are black asphalt with absolutely no shade and dunes that block any sea breeze. Dehydration is a common problem here. (This is where most of the Medical Assistance is rendered)

The final 1.1 miles, Pretty much flat, are well trodden ground as this is the same finish as the Imperial Beach Triathlon. (I did this in August) I just needed to do best speed and finish as strong as I can given that my expected pace was right on the edge of my fitness given the conditions and my level of existing fatigue.


By yesterday afternoon, I was more than a bit reticent about doing this race. I am probably a bit "over-reached" and possibly on the verge of an injury in my hip. On top of it all, I picked up yet another middle ear infection. Surely the memory of last year's crash and burn did not help the situation. I figured I would make a decision when I woke up in the morning.

Got up at 3:00AM and headed over to my friend's house. (I felt good and was eager to run and decided to go for it) It was about a 45 mile drive to Imperial Beach and we knew from experience that the shuttles get very crowded. We arrived at the Start in Coronado on the first bus and had plenty of time to strech, warm up and make a few trips to the loo. I brought along a plastic trashbag to wear (So I could stay warm) and my friend was very happy that I just happened to bring 2 of them. (He was cold also)

After a good stretch and a light run with 3x100 Pickups, it was time to make the one last trip to the loo. As it happened, the race was delayed just like last year and so I had some extra time. After 45 minutes in line, I made it to the loo an exited just as the gun went off. (A lot of other folks were not so lucky)

Good thing they had chip mats at the start line this year. (They did not have this last year)


Ran the 1st mile down past the historic Hotel Del Coronado in the fog and never grow tired of seeing it. (Hint: This is where the movie, "Some Like it Hot" with M. Monroe was filmed) Just past the Hotel Del, we had a short downhill toward Glorieta Bay and I hit the 1st Mile Marker right on time at 7:29.

The next 7 miles are run down one side of Hwy 75 along the Silver Strand. San Diego Bay on One Side, and Ocean on the other. it can be pretty boring if you are not impressed by the solitude of this part of SD. I was able to maintain my expected pace through these miles but required a lot of mental effort to do so.

At Mile 8, we head into a short bit through a residential area and I saw the first groups of spectators. (Was able to feed off of them) The difficulty of the course started to increase as we entered the Naval base. I had hit all of the water stops up to this point, and chose to skip my first stop here. (My Tummy was starting to bother me)

As expected, my pace started to slip on the hills mostly because I was intent on not charging them. (Just maintain an even level of effort) Mentally, this was quite a bit easier but physically a lot harder. I had thought at the time that I was fading, but as I look back now, I am sure that the pace was correct for the hills and the quickly building heat. My pace was 8:00-8:20 over this part of the course.

As I approached the turn out of the base for the final mile, I picked up my last bit of water and prepared for the final push. I had been dropping a lot of road kill on the base and had been re-Passed by a small group of folks and now was able to tuck in behind them and pace through the final mile. With about 400 Yds to go, I could see the finish in the distance and dropped all but one of the members of my "Pace Group". One woman took off and I tried to hang in there with her but the best I could do was match her pace and I finished just behind her.
What would you do differently?:

Probably Nothing. Heat was definitely a factor and I think I did OK factoring this into my pacing for the last part of the course. I backed off a bit and adjusted my expectations.

I still suffered in the heat for the final 2 miles.
Post race
Warm down:


First order of business, find the Loo. (My Tummy troubles were becoming quickly urgent) Next was to re-hydrate. I found a water stand, but was creeped out by the concept of them scooping water out of a trash can. So, I went for the cans of apple juice instead.

Went for a massage after my cooldown run and waited for my friend to finish. He was also training through this race and had planned on finishing in 2:20. He wound up really suffering in the heat (The Temp had reached 80 Degrees while he was out on the Navy Base) and ended up Gallow Walking the last 2 miles. (It was a training run after all)

All in all, I was happy with the results in spite of the fact that this was not an "A" Race. I do not regret my decision to run. My Hip and Calfs/Shins felt fine through the race. I did notice that I needed a higher level of effort to maintain this pace. I ran a similar pace last month in Long Beach and it felt a heck of a lot easier. I would like to properly prepare and taper for a race at this distance at some point, and really see what is possible.

Post Race Meal:

Pasta with a Chicken Breast
Crusty Bread
Cuppa Choco Milk :love:


Final Time: 1:42:38 (Watch Time)
Overall: 45 - 140 (Based on Gun Time for Now)
AG Pace: 332 - 2009 (Based on Gun Time for Now)

This is a PR by 3:09
This beat last year's time by 26:22.
I ran the entire distance

Next up: Orange County Marathon on January 7th, 2007.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Fitness, Heat.

Event comments:

Had a pretty bad time here last year due to delays and heat. Race time was delayed again but not as bad as last year. Definitely not enough Portos at the start.

Folks had been in line for over 30 minutes and were still their when the gun fired.

Last updated: 2006-11-13 12:00 AM
01:42:38 | 13.1 miles | 07m 50s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: The course starts in Coronado and runs 8 pretty flat miles down the Silver Strand. For the next 4 miles the course heads out onto a Naval Base and gets a bit hillier. The final 1.1 Miles head away from the base and to the Imperial Beach Pier for the finish.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %4
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2006-11-19 9:51 PM

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Carlsbad, California
Subject: Silver Strand Half Marathon

2006-11-19 11:45 PM
in reply to: #603597

Subject: RE: Silver Strand Half Marathon
Congratulations on a well planned and run race, and especially on the PR. I'm glad you didn't end up injuring yourself either.
2006-11-20 12:37 PM
in reply to: #603646

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Carlsbad, California
Subject: RE: Silver Strand Half Marathon
Thanks RidgeRunner

I am glad that I avoided injury also.

I suspect that my scheduled cutback week last week really helped.

2006-12-01 3:02 PM
in reply to: #603597

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piece o heaven
Subject: RE: Silver Strand Half Marathon
Excellent Job!!

Great tune ups for the IMCA 70.3 in March - I only can dream about running like you. Keep it up!!!

119 days and 16 hours to go!!!!!
2006-12-01 3:08 PM
in reply to: #603597

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Sherman Oaks, CA
Subject: RE: Silver Strand Half Marathon
That is smoking fast. Great job. Hope I can run a half-marathon close to that pace at some time in the future.
2006-12-01 6:10 PM
in reply to: #613714

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Carlsbad, California
Subject: RE: Silver Strand Half Marathon

My hope is that all this running will keep me from totally blowing up on the run in Oceanside.

2006-12-01 6:13 PM
in reply to: #613722

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Carlsbad, California
Subject: RE: Silver Strand Half Marathon

Now that I am 2 weeks down the road from this race, I suspect that I ran it way too hard. I am still learning how to train through a race. (No Taper and no real recovery time) What I ended up doing definitely was not what was intended in my training plan.

I am still learning how to run and train through a tuneup race
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