Monday, June 3, 2013

RACE REPORT: Fontana Half | I Hate Allergies

Finally, I was able to race the famous Fontana Half.  I was looking forward to trying it out, as I heard some good things about it.

As I drove into Fontana I realized part of the road I was on was the back end of the course.  Okay...that was really boring.  I love running in cities, not country side.  The bigger the city - the better, more people usually on the side of the road.

Picked up my packet and headed to the hotel.  Got my clothes ready and off to bed.

Wore my Running Troops singlet, for the first time
Got up the next morning to find a cute little kitten at my door.  He/she was very well taken care of, it even had painted toe nails.  It was purring and meowing.  I went to the front desk to see if any of the guests had a cat.  They were of no help.  So, I walked around and found the pet-owner in a panic. 

Arrived at the Finished Line (City Hall) and parked my car within walking distance.  Onward to school buses to take us up the mountain to the start.  Fellow Trooper, Rocky Morale and I sat together. It was great to catch up with him, I had not seen him since St George.

Arrived at the top of the Mountain and the temp's were nice.  Not overly cold nor warm.  The bathroom lines were way too long, so I found a bush to do the last pre-race pee. TMI, huh?

Pre-race Trooper Photo (LtoR) Paula Hamilton, Rob Distante, myself & Rocky Morales

First 7-8 miles of the course is a screeching downhill. At the start I held back and kept my pace at no faster than 7:30.  I was not in the mood to blow-up at Mile 10. 

Around 4.5 or 5 (can't remember, I know it was after Aid station Mile 4 and before aid station mile 6) I started sneezing and then, it got so bad, I had to stop on the side of the road.  Darn allergies!  Which resulted in a small asthma attack.  Thank goodness I always have my rescue inhaler with me. 

Anyone who has allergies and asthma will tell you how it drains the life out of you.   This was no exception.  Once I got that under control...I started running. No, I was jogging.  I could barely move faster than a 9:30 and that was on a downhill. 

I sneezed on and off...walking quite a bit until Mile 10 - and one of the volunteers heard me sneezing and started pouring water all over me.  Whatever was making me sneeze was still on me. I poured it on my face and Bam! The sneezing stopped.

I love volunteers!  I wanted to hug her!  

I was at 1:10 at 10 miles, and I needed at 49 minute 10k to get a sub2.  Well, I thought..."why not?!?!"

Keep in mind, my 10k is 52 minutes.

I took off- amongst the squishy wet clothes.  I started running - only walking for one tiny bit to get my breathing under control.  Looking at my Garmin, I knew if I made a sub2, it would be close.  If I missed it, it would be close.

Seconds from the finish.  Photo:  Jessica Montoya

My 10k split was 48 minutes.  I had PR'd on my 10k on the backend of a Half.  I was real excited about that. 

As I crossed the Finish Line the medics were all over me, they said I sounded like a "squealing pig". They took me to the Medic tent for a quick look over and I was released.  

Considering the course...I should of finished WAY sooner and my runner buddies said they were starting to get worried. Awwww, they care about me.  :)

Jessica and I.   I love her!

Rocky and I.  He SNOCKERED his PR!  Way to get it done!

I also saw Ryan Lauer & Jon Chernila (who I had not seen since SFM).   Afterwards, I purchased some fresh fruit/veggie juice from the Farmer's Market.

Fontana was nice, but I won't risk going back - because of my allergies.  The only other race, my allergies have bothered me, was after Ronald McDonald 5k (both years).  Not sure what it is, my allergist says all my tests come back negative and I am not allergic to any trees, shrubs or flowers.  Kinda weird, huh?

At least I can say I have run the famous Fontana Half.  They do a great job with atmosphere and organization, but just not my cup of tea.

This is my last Half race until the Fall.  I am now entering my strength building phase. While I will run a race from time to time...I am not racing.  

I am still loving my 2013.  Much better year than 2012. 

Thanks to Rocky, Jon, Ryan and Jessica for being there at the Finish Line to say "hello" and cheer me in. 

(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-13
Run F.A.B. & Boston Strong,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
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