Monday, November 7, 2011

PFTW, and Iron Girl Del Mar Race Recap

Last week:
Tuesday - 8x400's, killed it.
Thursday - 3 miles tempo. Goal pace 9:56; actual 9:24. Killed it.
Saturday - was planning on doing a long run; ended up taking a rest day - I had a monster cold last week, I ran a half the weekend prior, and have another the next weekend. Rest day it was.
Sunday - Iron Girl Del Mar. Recap below.

Plan for this week.....
Monday - I dunno. Speed work or hills. One of them. I haven't decided.
Wednesday - easy 3
Thursday - Tempo
Sunday - Mission Inn Half. Maybe. If it rains, I'm out. I'm not that committed. (Sorry, ChaCha)



Saturday, I trekked down to Del Mar to run the Athleta Iron Girl 5K. I was supposed to run with #1, in the Mother/Daughter division. But Sunday when I woke her up (at 4:40am...) she said she wasn't feeling well. Bummer.

I talked my local BFF into running with me, as well, so she met me at my place and we carpooled down at 5:30am.

Sure was early. And chilly.

We both had to pick up our packets, and it was super fast and painless.

We ran into Sarah, Nicole, and ChaCha almost right away.

I wore throwaway sweats and a fleece, but the bag drop was SUPER easy and fast, so I checked my ugly gear.

Nicole and Sarah (and Ashley!) were running the 10K; Snork, ChaCha, and I were running the 5K, which started a bit later... giving us plenty of time to scope out the set up...


There were REAL bathrooms, as well, all around the complex.

Outside the portopotties...


Plenty of beverages for the finishers (WIN - races that run out of water irk me!)


Also... note all the pink netting?! How cute is that?




It also gave us some time to get schooled by some chick wearing a HAT about showing appropriate respect for the national anthem. Noted. Thank you, obnoxious hypocrite.

Finallllly, our turn to line up. Iron Girl has chip timing, but for AG placement, the timing goes by gun time... so ChaCha scooted her tiny self up to the front. I hung out a bit towards the middle of the pack with Snork. The weather was chilly when we got there, but PERFECT for running.




I had a mini-meltdown last week when I realized iPod's weren't allowed, but apparently ChaCha and I were the only two following these rules. Feh.

Now.... and this is NOT a complaint about the Iron Girl event at all, just an observation about these chick-themed events.

People just don't know how to line up for a race. It's not something that's intuitive, apparently. I'm all for people coming out and moving themselves for 3.1 miles - regardless of pace, it's freaking fantastic that you're doing it. I am certainly no speedster. But if you're planning on walking..... stay. to. the. back.


Anyway, race started just fine, and we headed out. I thought the course was well marked, but apparently some people (see above, with the inexperienced chicks) got confused, and ended up running into oncoming runners (like me), and I had to stop and let them cross in front of me. They commented to me, that the race directors should be talked to. Um. No. You sould know the course, and follow the volunteers instructions to stay to the left. Goodness.

The course wound through the area adjacent to the Del Mar racetrack. There were out and backs, and the 10K'ers had a separate course that in parts ran parallel to the 5K course, which was fun, because I got to see Nicole, Sarah, and Ashley all KILLING it. (PS, Ashley, I was not just touching my boobs, I was reaching for my inhaler, sweartogod).

The course felt mostly flat, with the exception of one GIANT HILL. I'm lying, it was not a giant hill. It was a verrrrrry gradual incline, that seemed to last forEVER. Particularly when you've been skipping hill repeats to run 400's. (DUMB). But what goes up, must come down, right? That part didn't suck (well, the sandy parts did - it's really tough to keep your footing running around a corner down hill on sand).


Annnyway. So, my strategy for this originally was to run until I felt like I might puke. This was entirely because I didn't want to be the factor keeping #1 from placing, and we had a chance as a Mother/Daughter team if I ran HARD. But when she wasn't there.... I was far less interested in puking. Instead, I ran like I was running a tempo run - kind of hard, but not to the puke-point.

And my time reflects that. My official times are MIA (since I was on a team, and half of my team didn't run, the results don't get posted), so I'm using the times from my JogLog app on my phone.

Mile 1: 10:13
Mile 2: 9:57
Mile 3: 9:33
Mile .13: 1:14

Final: 30:54, 9:48 avg pace

Oh, look. That's just about dead on tempo pace.

It's a 2+ minute PR, at less than max effort. Pretty sweet.

Lessons learned: stop lining up in the middle/back. Stop. Also, maybe run a warm up before starting....

The finishers area was SUPER easy to navigate, which I freaking LOVE. When you finish a race, all you want is to get your stuff, and move along, right? It was wide open, plenty of water and juice, medals handed out, chips removed, all at a good distance from each other, so no bunching. LOVED it.

Afterwards, we headed out to collect our finishers breakfast...





(those are the Old Navy $15 compression tights. MAGIC.)

Final Verdict:

This was a FANTASTIC race. Everything was well organized, from start to finish. The 10K was $50, and the 5K was a SUPER REASONABLE $25. There were discount codes floating around as well. The swag did NOT suck, especially for the price:


I'll totally do this event again next year. If there's one in your area, DO IT.


  1. I will taunt you mercilessly if you bail on Mission Inn :P Kidding. Sort of. It's less hilly than Holiday Half, so, if you plan on avenging LBI, Mission Inn will be easier than HH in Pomona.

    That hill did last forever! I wish I wasn't so focused on the awesome downhill on the way back or else I would have looked for Ms. Star-Spangled Banner Hypocrite and given her the hairy eyeball.

  2. That hill did last forever. And ever!

    You freaking killed it. And without an Ipod! Congrats on your PR :) Wahooo!

    I for sure will do this one again next year unless the race gods get me an entry into NY. Loved it and loved seeing you all!

  3. Congrats on your PR. Your next 5k should totally blow away 30 minutes. I can feel it.

  4. Congrats on your PR. I knew you'd do it :)

  5. IG puts on fantastic events. Way to get out and nail it.

    I hope the weather holds out this weekend for your 1/2!

  6. Congrats girl! Looks like a great race--need to find one in these parts.

  7. Congrats on the PR! I need to do an IronGirl event next year for sure. Envious you got to run at DelMar. Last time I was there was for horse races ($1 bets) and a brew fest!

  8. You ran that well with no ipod? That's freaking awesome. You're turning hard-core. :)

  9. congrats on your PR
    sorry you daughter was not well
    hope she is ok now.
    this race looks great! I am there next year for the 10k!

    This Sunday is looking cold and wet..I am going no matter what, got a date with redemption !!

  10. congrats on the PR and im digging the cute medals and all the swag. jealous.

  11. Don't have to tell me twice! Where do I sign up? Congrats on the PR! Looks like a nice race!

  12. my triathlon this summer was an Irongirl, they do put on a great show.

    Congrats on the PR!! Especially with that hilly-ness, great pace too, we could run together : )

  13. Great Job Heather!! Yes, that was a GREAT tempo run!! You did awesome!! :)

    crossing my fingers for no rain this weekend! Hope I see you! :)

  14. Okay, we need to go do a 5K race together and each get a new PR ... you and I have the same exact PR time. Woohoo, congratulations!!

    I like the bag you could put your stuff in. I wish Disney had that because I just didn't have enough hands for everything.

    What is that one photo that is a bowl with what looks like batteries in it?


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