Monday, May 17, 2010

Del Mar Aflac Iron Girl 5K Recap

Last weekend Lisa and I ran the Aflac Iron Girl 5K in Del Mar.  Instead of me writing the recap of our adventures, I asked Lisa if she'd like to write it and she said she'd love to!  So without any further adieu, here is the Del Mar Aflac Iron Girl 5K recap from Lisa....

"So, to preface, I know that Maggie started this blog to chronicle her experiences as a new runner.  I am the absolute definition of a new runner.  Until 4 months ago I had literally never run further than 2 miles (and even that small feat that was accomplished with much gasping, sweating, and walking…).  But when Maggie started writing her blog, I started reading, because I figured, “hey, I can take 2 minutes out of my day to support Maggie’s new physical endeavors”.  What I did not expect was to become inspired.
Maggie’s honesty about her struggles, efforts, and joys in her accomplishments spoke to me so clearly, because she doesn’t sugar coat—she describes running as it is: difficult, tiring, blistering, sometimes nauseating, but with a true sense of VICTORY in accomplishing small goals you probably did not think were possible 6 months ago.
All that to say: Maggie is the reason I started running.  We’ve done training runs together and the Aflac Iron Girl 5k was our 3rd race together.  We signed up for this 5k at the last minute because it looked like fun, and it gave us an excuse to get out of town for a little trip.  Not to mention the fact that it was scheduled at the end of week 1 of our 12 week training plan for our San Francisco half marathon and we are trying to get in as many miles as possible before then.
So Friday afternoon we got off work and cruised down the 405 to San Diego.  We had some animal fries along the way and drank about 2 liters of water apiece—those animal fries are salty… J  When we got to SD, we checked into our hotel and basically went straight to bed.  I know—we’re boring—but we DID have to get up EARLY for our 7:50 race.
When we got up at 5:30 the next morning, I put on my trusty Brooks Defyance running shoes, slapped some Body Glide on my feet to prevent blisters (thanks Magz), and headed out the door.  We walked across the street to the Del Mar fairgrounds and waited in line for our packets.  The fairgrounds were a sea of PINK (except me… I was wearing blue… I apparently didn’t get the memo that at an all girl race you’re supposed to wear pink. Hee hee J).  There were women EVERYwhere, and the area was PACKED.  We got our packets, and then our shirts, and then our free Aflac stuffed duck! Once we’d gotten all of our free stuff and put our gear in the gear check it was time to GO! 
We lined up in the (very pushy) crowd behind the starting line and got ready for the start of the race.  At the sound of the gun, we were off!!!  Sort of… There were so many people in the cattle chute behind the start that it took a good .25 mile or so to actually get going at a good pace. 
We trekked out at about a 10:30 pace and breezed through mile 1—there was a water station right before each mile marker, so no one was feeling dehydrated.  As we cruised, I looked around at all of the other women in this race.  There were cancer survivors, people running to honor others, mother/daughter teams, and we even saw a few women running with prosthetic legs—it was so inspiring to see them pushing through and succeeding (and doing it faster than me!).  Mile two went by without a hitch, and as we ran, we started to see all of the fastest runners from the 10k coming back toward the finish line, and everyone was super encouraging: clapping and cheering them on toward the finish!
Around mile 3 I started to get a little tired, and I realized that my running shoes that I loved so much… were too small.  They were rubbing on my toes and my right foot started to go numb.  I pushed through and tried to stretch out my toes but it didn’t help.  But at least they were numb rather than painful!  It was at that point that I also started feeling the old shin splints that had been plaguing me on and off for a week or so.  So Maggie and I toned down the pace a bit and prepared for the big hill before the last turnaround. 
We took the hill at about a 12:00 pace and took our time, but once we hit that turnaround, we were FLYING. We hit the last .5 mile with everything we had, making it down to about an 8:00 pace!  By then, we were seeing the home stretch: the finish line was in sight! Maggie and I looked at each other, and took off at a dead sprint. We crossed the finish line within 3 seconds of each other: our official times were me: 34:29 and Magz: 34:32.  Not the fastest times in the world, but the time wasn’t super important to either of us.
After the race we started to get bombarded with free goodies! Aflac, the sponsor, provided free cold sponges to dab off our sweaty faces, they gave us each a flower, we each snagged a finisher’s medal, and both of us got a couple bottles of water and a bottle of muscle milk (which was nasty…).  Then we made our way over to check out all of the sponsor kiosks, where we got tons of free foot scrub, sports drinks, little snacky things, etc.  And after all that—we got a free breakfast from Aflac, to be enjoyed in the beautiful Del Mar Fairgrounds courtyard!  The setting really was picturesque.  We took a few pictures, and Maggie got ogled by EVERYONE because of the super cute pink team sparkle skirt she was wearing.  Seriously—she got probably 20 compliments!
In conclusion—it was a great experience, a great race, and a TON of fun! Not to mention a wonderful way to end week one of our SF training schedule… Now the only challenge will be getting through weeks 2-12…"

I have to confess, when I first read it I got very misty eyed in the beginning.  Thank you Lisa for your incredibly kind words, and for writing this fabulous recap!  Here are some pictures from the Irongirl 5K:
Me and Lisa pre-race
Lining up in the sea of women
@ the finish line!  We even got flowers!
And of course with the proud sponsor...Mr. Aflac Duck himself!


  1. Congrats on a great race...awesome recap Lisa!

  2. Congrats on an awesome race and congrats on getting others out there with you! Way to go Mags!