PR-Asterisk (Fontana Days Half)

I ran the Fontana Days Run Half almost a full week ago.  Woops.  You’d think I might have been a little more prompt with a PR* Race Recap

What’s with the Barry Bonds asterisk, you ask?

This pretty much sums it up :


There’s been a lot of controversy between the runners I’ve talked to about this “cheat course” as I call it.  Some say :

13.1 miles is 13.1 miles – you’re racing the DISTANCE, that’s it.  Own that PR, girl!

While others agree with me and say :

You’re right, there’s no way in hell you’d have even come CLOSE to that time if the course wasn’t straight downhill.  Good luck trying.

While running downhill is decidedly MUCH harder than I thought (I was sore for days afterwards), the gravitational pull and need to keep my legs moving so I wouldn’t topple over and somersault half the course easily counteracted the effort.

Anyways, let’s rewind a bit…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Once again I prepped like a true (OUaL) professional for this race :

Yogurtland AND Coldstone in one day?  It was necessary.  By the time I came down from my Sugar Dairy Rave Party and went to bed, I had about 5 hours before my 3:45 alarm was set to go off.

Heh.  It DID go off, a few times, actually.  I am the master of the snooze.

(I’ve disabled spell check on my phone if you can’t tell.)

Got up to Fontucky in good time (didn’t speed – swear, mom), met up with Chacha, and stood in the un-moving line for check in.  An eon later, bib in hand, I joined Chacha in the wait for the shuttles.  We saw Margot, who had arrived late and was the most frazzled, funny mess I’ve seen in a while.

And all of the sudden, I. HAD. TO. PEE.  I started looking all over for a porta potty, desolate bush, any space that wasn’t visible from 360 degrees by 1,000 bystanders. 

But before I could find a little urine haven, I was being pushed onto a school bus waiting to drive me 30 bumpy minutes up a mountain to the start line.

I seriously thought I was going to pee my pants.  Conversation came to a screeching halt with 10 minutes left in the ride because I had to focus all of my energies on keeping the Urethra Dam closed.

Here’s a nice shot of my pint-sized friend & I shortly after I bolted from the bus and straight into a porta potty :

That’s my post-pee smile of pure relief.  And Chacha’s chesire cat grin.

Anyhow it was F’ING COLD up in that damn mountain.  If you want to run downhill, you’re gonna PAY – not only with trashed quads by mile 3, but with numb appendages and biting winds from being at an elevation 2,000 miles higher than where you started…

(from Fontana Days Run FB page)

Legs are already beyond trashed at this point.  They aren’t meant to go that fast and really don’t like the cold.  My fingers were yellow and I couldn’t feel my toes.  Of course my ice-cold handheld water bottle didn’t help.

I really didn’t want to be running, but realized that small races = small support crew, so the odds of me being left to rot & die on the side of the road up that mountain if I quit were pretty high.

Started to feel a little better about life around the time the decline leveled a bit.  Still so funny to me how HARD it is running freaking downhill.

Doo doo doooooo.  La la laaaaa…

I knew by this point that I was going to PR, and spent AT LEAST a mile debating on what approach I should take to the last few miles :

  • Run like hell and kick the shit out of that old PR.  Try to be satisfied that I will never in a billion years ever beat that time
  • Pull in the reins, accept a generous (but beatable) PR, and not vomit at the finish

… Obviously chose door #2, but apparently traded the “no puking” for some nasty bicep (deltoid? some muscle?) action and a serious HAG face :

Once the finish line was in sight and we were around civilization again, I picked it up a bit.  High-fived a bunch of cheering kids, and set my eyes on some poor dude that was running on fumes and pushing with everything he had for the finish.

Felt a real shitty grin spread across my face and sprinted the last .12.  Sorry, dude.

Brightroom sucks and didn’t capture the chick-ing on film, but luckily I was able to conjour something up so you could witness it :

Official time : 1:46.24 – a PR* by over three minutes.  (over a 19 month-old PR)

First time ever Garmin Time = Chip Time

Also, 13.12 – YAHHHH good tangents!

Chacha, Margot, and Monica all PR’d as well.  As I’m sure every last person that ran.  Where else does a 1:46 get you 18TH in your age group?!  Not division, not overall – AGE GROUP.  Seven women ran sub 1:30.  Margot ran a damn 1:33 and was the 124th person to cross the finish line.  STUPID FAST.

Anyways, while part of me now is wondering what kind of lunatic time I could have pulled if I hadn’t sand-bagged the last 5 miles, the other part of me is pretty confident that I can break 1:46.24 on a “normal” course.



Possibly, if I actually train for it

So that’s the story of the PR-Asterisk.  Yeah I’m gonna brag that I ran a 1:46 Half, but my “true PR” is still 1:49.40 in my mind.

… For now.  :)

Sarah Soon-To-Be


17 thoughts on “PR-Asterisk (Fontana Days Half)

  1. You’re putting Jillian to shame with that muscle definition. And that face strongly resembles the one I have after eating an entire block of cheese, muy bonita! And way to totally chick that dude at the end, I bet he had a similar cheese-face on watching you zoom by.


  2. I loved reading every word of this!! :) Great job to you, Margot and Chacha!! Awesome!!

    I know what you mean about downhills…they can hurt when your legs are fatigued!

    Love your race hair BTW! Very cute! :)


  3. With your tweet yesterday I wasn’t sure if you were going to recap – but not recapping a PR (even a * one) would be a running blog fowl ;o)

    It’s funny – your age group, this time, was way competitive. Mine was not – 80% of the time it’s the other way around. Maybe the 30-34 crowd decided to run RnR or something.

    Anyway, you kicked booty for 2nd half in 6 days! Thankfully this one came *after* Laguna. Requires nearly 6 days to recover from the quad beating.


  4. I say a PR is still a PR. Like you said – running downhill for an extended period of time is HARD.

    When I grow up I want to speedy just like you :)

    Congrats on a great race!


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