Monday, October 5, 2015

Judgement Day Half Marathon Recap

Happy Monday! I have been pretty much trying to recover from my race yesterday. I did manage to get a walk in with my dogs. But other than that I decided to not do anything else. Tomorrow I will get back at it since my next race is a little over a month. 

Yesterday I finally finished the Sole 2 Soul series by completing the Judgment Day Half Marathon. I started this series when I was still living in Fresno and I had every intention of finishing it. The series is run by my favorite running store, Sole 2 Soul. They have three different locations throughout the Central Valley (Fresno, Visalia, Bakersfield).

I picked up my race packet the day before at their Bakersfield location. Since it is a local race, there was absolutely no wait and everyone was so friendly and nice. Part of the reason I like the store so much is because of how well they treat their runners. They offer so many perks! I have never done any other race that offers as many free stuff as they do. I had a $25 credit and a gift certificate so I purchased a few extra things. 

On race day, I was a bit nervous and excited. I was on a mission to find my friends and my niece. I found only one of my friends. He drove that morning from Exeter to the race. Yet another perk is having free race packet pick up on the day of the race.  I got there about half an hour before the race. Plenty of time to use the restroom and stretch. If you came late though, the bathroom line was super long. My niece later told me she started late because she was waiting in line.

I couldn't have asked for better weather. It was a cool morning in the mid 60s. I had been training in a lot warmer weather so this was a breath of fresh air. It actually sprinkled in the beginning and the end of the race. The race started at exactly 7am and my goal was to be done close to 9am.

The course was surprisingly beautiful and relatively flat except for two very noticeable hills. Hills that I was not prepared all!  I had studied the course and saw the hills but honestly it's Bakersfield so I couldn't picture the hills being that bad. The first four and a half miles I was doing great. I actually was averaging a 8:59 pace but then all of a sudden I felt my calves tense up and the cramps slowly started to follow. I had to walk and stretch them out quite a bit. It was pretty bad and I was starting to get bummed. I had such a great pace and then this happened. Then the first hill came and I had to run/walk it making my pace even slower. All I could do was just try to enjoy the run given the circumstance. I started thinking to myself of all my running accomplishment this year and that seemed to help me. I started to say my running mantra over and over, "The body achieves what the mind believes."

I knew I was physically fit to finish the race. It was just my head that was messing with me. My goal was to not get a PR but to enjoy the run pain free. So that's what I did. I found a happy running pace and got in a groove. Yes the next hill came around mile 10, but I knew as soon as that hill was over it was all downhill from there. The hill was tough, and yes I walked some of it...but I got over it. Once I saw the banner for 13 miles I started to pick up my pace with what little bit of energy I had left. I turned the corner and it was great to see my husband, our friends, and my family. I had such a huge smile knowing I had so many people there cheering me on.

My niece and my friend Andres did great! Both of them placed in their age group. My niece Erika got first and Andres got 2nd. Both of their times were beyond impressive. I can only dream of ever being on their level. 

Each finisher received a warm breakfast, chocolate milk, a very nice medal, and a hooded sweater. For those of us that were Sole 2 Soul Series finishers, we received a really nice jacket, access to massages, extra fruit/food, and a race medal hook display. Seriously the perks are amazing!  Oh and I forgot to mention the perks you received at race pick up. You not only received a race t-shirt, a headband, and a Fluid recovery bottle.  I came back from this race with quite a bit of goodies.

There were a few things that could have made the race a bit better. There were not enough potter potties throughout the course. I actually didn't see one until maybe mile 5. The start line could have also used a bit more bathrooms. But to be fair, I feel that way about every race. There is just never enough. Also at the finish line there were not enough people helping out to give out the Sole 2 Soul series extra gifts. I waited quite awhile which was frustrating since I wanted to just hang out with my Bakersfield family. 

The volunteers were awesome. This is something I always encounter with their races. They are always so cheerful and so encouraging. Unfortunately due to the course, there weren't as many as their last race. And honestly I can't say enough good things about all their parks. If you happen to live around the Central Valley, then I would highly recommend these series. The courses are challenging but worth every penny.

Last but not least I want to take the time to thank our friends who let us stay with them over the weekend.  Living in San Diego has definitely made it harder to see our good friends so we were delighted to spend some quality time with them. They also woke up early to cheer me on yesterday. 

There were a lot of races this past weekend and I would love to hear how everyone else did! I know many are in the final stretch before Chi Marathon. Maybe one day I'll make that leap again but for the mean time I am sticking to my half marathons. I have one more for the year so training starts again this week. 

Also don't forget you still have time to sign up for the PRO Compression giveaway. One lucky reader will win a free pair of compression sleeves or socks. Click the link for official rules. It's super easy!

Other places you can find me:
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Twitter: fitwrunner
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I am linking up with Healthy Diva Eats and Her Heartland Soul


  1. Sounds like a great race and congratulations!!! I love getting good race swag it makes everything right in the world.

  2. Way to believe in yourself!! And congrats! You running queen, you...

  3. this is so inspiring! i wish i could run even a quarter of this! this is a great way to stay healthy and fit and everyone knows how important that is. she truly inspires me to achieve my goals as she is trying to achieve hers!