This is my fourth year doing the Brian Waterbury Memorial Run featuring Rock’n Around the Pier Half Marathon and a 6 mile Rock to Pier Fun Run. In 2014 I Googled races in or near Cayucos, our favorite getaway from the Fresno heat, and found the Rock to Pier Fun run in July. At the time I was training for my first half marathon in April and half Ironman in September which made the 6 mile run perfect. The next year in 2015 I originally planned to do the half marathon for the super cool medal they get, but a pinched nerve in my back which had me at only 2 mile runs in pain and had to drop to the 6 mile fun run. Then in 2016 I finally did the half marathon but I was in the peak of Ironman training so it was the beginning of a 19 mile training run. I did the half marathon and then ran 6 miles back to Cayucos.
This year I wanted to do the half marathon again but I was only released from a boot substitute at the end of May which means my training runs are only up to 6 miles. Leading up to the race I begged and pleaded with my coach to let me do the half; I could run the 6 miles and then walk the rest. I don’t have an ego about the time and would be content walking back. It was a big fat NO. I was upset and frustrated about not being able to do the half (mostly because we get a dinky ribbon instead of finish medal). More than one friend advised they would do it anyways and just stop their Garmin at the turn around point. It was tempting but I need to be good to my body during recovery and follow the plan. I deliberately didn’t sign up before packet pickup in the hopes that my coach would change her mind, but at least I saved myself a pretty penny by doing the cheaper race. I registered, picked up my shirt and went on my way.
The 6 mile run is a point to point from Morro Rock to Cayucos Pier. Since we stay in Cayucos for this race I hitched a ride with some of the half marathon runners so I could just walk or get a ride back up to the house after. It was a typical half marathon start line. Crowded parking, hit the port-a-potties, then meandered to the start line on the sand. This race has the half marathon and 10k start at the same time with corrals based on pace rather than finish time. I positioned myself at the 11 min/mile line between two corrals. The runners in front of us started moving and eventually the sea of people starting rolling across the start line. This morning was extra overcast from a marine layer hovering over us. We couldn’t see the finish line/turn around at all. It was a bit eerie and cool at the same time to see bodies fade into the fog.
As I mentioned last year this is a mentally tough race as a first 10k or half marathon since you can see the turn around and finish lines the whole time and the scenery doesn’t seem to change if you’re hung up checking how far it is. If you’ve done a few half marathons in the past then this can be a scenic and cool run; it just depends how you look at it. I stuck pretty close to my intervals since I was treating this as just a solid training run with a view. I bring my own water for this run since it’s spread out a bit too far for me. All in all it was still a fun run for me and I wasn’t sore for the first time in 4 years after this event. That’s a plus!
So we spent the afternoon boogie boarding and enjoying the sun after the marine layer burned off. We also had our traditional beach bonfire that night. If you do this race and enjoy time on the beach I highly recommend staying in Cayucos for it’s low key and less crowded beach.
Until next time Cayucos…..
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