Monday, August 31, 2009

Getting it DONE in Santa Rosa!

Wow! Is all I can say....

I was looking for a PR...all I wanted in Santa Rosa was a PR...might be a long shot to sub 3:32, but it was all I wanted to do in the race. I knew the course was flat..a lot like the Eugene Marathon where I ran that 3:32...SO I knew I could bring something! (even though I hadn't run anything longer then 10 miles since the San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon!)

Here's how my race went...
Got to Santa Rosa around 7PM Saturday night...met up with @gregknottlemond for my pre-race chicken nachos and beer (rituals!) and talked a bit about my race strategy. Planned the meeting, salt...YOU know the whole deal! Finished up and headed to the hotel to meet @solorunner who just got in from Portland!

Went to sleep around 11...YES, I actually slept....this I knew was a sign of a good race...I was happy to wake up to FOG and not the some coffee in me, half a bagel and @solorunner and I headed to the start to meet up with @gregknottlemond. QUIET at the race start...much more organized then I thought..not sure who was doing the half or the all the runners walked to the start...

I filed in with the 8 min mile group...set my watch and turned on my play list. Sorta put myself in my zone..whatever that means! Count down and we were off..First mile I was pacing around 6:40..mistake number 1. Pulled myself together finally by mile 4 and was now about 5 mins ahead of my 3:30 pace...Got caught up with all the runners and was getting pissed that I got passed by 4 chicks. I had to fight with myself to slow it down to a 7:45 pace...It was tough...My first half was a PR for me..I ran a 1:38...and was feeling pretty good..I told myself I would race until 20 and then make a decision on incorporating Galloway..

Headed out on my second loop...the thing is with Santa Rosa you do the same thing twice...which I sort of liked..headed into mile 15 feeling strong...kept pushing my 7:40'ish pace. Didn't take water, NuuN..Gu or salt (dumb!)..My IT band stopped hurting and I was just focused on the miles. The half marathoners were coming at me as I was going out and they kept doing the #1 sign...I was clueless and kept saying "NO this is my second loop"...they were trying to tell me I was the first chick heading out for the marathon..WOO HOO! I was too busy yelling "great racing guys! Good run!"....cheerleading 101! KARMA!

I was feeling pretty kick ass until mile 22..saw @solorunner and @gregknottlemond and asked what my pace was...I sooo hit a wall and was seriously DONE! @gregknottlemond says "you're doing just fine!" and I felt like SHIT! If there was a sniper on the course I wished he would have taken me out at mile 22! My race just started for me..Mentally I started messing with myself..I knew I was in the lead...even if I didn't PR I was gonna win the womans overall and my AG..BUT I wasn't here to do that...I was here to PR..I did the Galloway method a little at 23...30 seconds walking...I hit mile 24 and started to have the chills. I needed salt..I was getting fluid but I was pretty stomache was aching, a little hallow..

Mile 25 I grabbed a salt tab (a little late I know) for my mental state and pushed on...No more markers...just needed to get thru that last mile...came around the corner...and the park was in sight..I was pretty happy..looked at my watch and I was around a 3:28 as I hit the last few hundred feet thru the park...SAW @solorunner and she was yelling "GO! YOU have it!" SO I picked it up a little so I could stay in the 3:28 range.. @epicbillbradley was announcing for the race and I heard him say "We have the first female finisher, Shelly Centis!" was pretty cool to hear everyone cheer...Crossed the finish line at 3:28.51...a 4+ minute PR for me! ALL I wanted.. The win was a bonus!

I did win a bike...and some other swag...BUT most importantly I learned that it doesn't matter if you win, lose or PR it's how you treat the other people on the course...YOU can be the fastest, run the strongest...BUT none of that matters unless you show encouragement to the other runners! I had the most fun yesterday watching the half marathoners push their way to the finish as I was headed out on my second 13.1..To them that half was just as big as my full. Way to go runners...GOOD day in Santa Rosa for ALL the finishers!

Article and pics:


  1. Well done! I don't think I know anyone who is a "Course Record Holder". Amazing race but I get the feeling your PR will be getting even better in the near future.



  2. Dude! You are incredible! Congratulations on your amazing day yesterday!

    You know, Ocala is two loops also. ;-)

  3. Excellent race report. Boy, that sounds like a tough finish. And you even took some short walk breaks and still PRd. Cool! Glad to hear it. Awesome day for you! Exciting!

  4. WTG Shelly - you continue to inspire! Even us halfers ; )
    Take a few days off now.
    O we want pics of your new ride!

  5. Again, congrats! Just gave you a shout out over on my blog. You deserve it! Now we just need a twitpic of that bike you won. :)

  6. Girl, you ROCK! I feel like I have famous friends and stuff. ;) Great race. Great post. Great attitude. I so agree - it's all about givin' props to others and sticking to our personal goals. (Amazing that you view the win as second to your PR- that tells ya something... just sayin')