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Monday, May 21, 2012

Capitola Half Marathon - 2012

What a beautiful day for a race in Santa Cruz, California yesterday!  70 degrees and sunny with a light breeze.  Gorgeous.  The Capitola Half Marathon started out in front of the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk at the crack of dawn 7am.  All us runners piled through the arch set up across the starting line then we were off!  After weaving through some nearby neighborhoods, we made our way to East Cliff and cruised along the ocean.  Beautiful views were endless.  Pleasure Point, one of Santa Cruz's most famous surf spots had waves rolling in.
We continued down through the Capitola Village and looped around to come back up East Cliff.  Half way there!  The hill out of the village though was because it was steep and two because it was the 3rd steep hill that we had conquered by that point!  But I couldn't slow down.  I liked to think that each step I took got me that much closer!  When I was getting to the top of these hills, my breath was noticeable shorter.  What worked for me to get it back without stopping to rest or walk?? Slow your pace down to just under your race pace, and focus on taking slow, deep breaths.  When you can run without breathing through your mouth, return to your practiced race pace!

As I ran back through the course, I was sure to take advantage of the water and refueling stations throughout the race.  If you are a runner that prefers not to carry water bottles or energy packs on you (like me!) then these are critical.  Plenty of water will help prevent cramping.  Then I saw the Boardwalk and knew I was almost there!  Here is a shot of the runners passing the Boardwalk right before the Cowell's Beach finish line.
My finish time was 2hrs 7min!!!  Beat my last half marathon time by 9 minutes!  So proud that I finished strong and so happy and thankful that I had such a supportive team there with me to cheer me on!  Great job to all the runners yesterday and I can't wait for my next race!

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