and my stink'n feet!
7,999 + 1me = participants at 
35th Annual AFC half marathon

 While the #1 runner finished his race in 1:03:33, I was just getting started on mile 7 or 8 praying that I would make it up that CrAzY hill at mile 11.  The heat and humidity was on and popping this morning as we were bussed to Cabrillo National Monument and made our way through Point Loma, along Harbor Island and into downtown San Diego the sun would not let up.  From mile 4 to mile 10, the sun was so bright and I could just feel my skin cooking as we rolled through the course.  This will be my 5th time running the AFC half marathon and each year, I have a different story.
Tesfaye Alemayehu Sendeku, 28
Wins overall and Men's Division 1:03:44

Last year, this race owned my butt.  I could not get up that mile long hill at mile 11 without stopping and walking most of the way.  Poor training and a negative mentality will do that to you.  This year, my training was a bit better, not consistent but my body was ready and my mental was STRONG!  I had some successful training sessions a few weeks prior but was not ready for the heat. (It's been a minute since I have had to deal with high humidity and I am a Missouri girl).

My goal this year was to get 1:49 which is very possible but once I got on the course and realized the sun was just too much for me, I allowed myself to stop at EVERY water station and get shade breaks when needed.  Having done that, I finished at 1:54 and I have to say, that's not so bad with all the stops I made!

Right around mile 6 or 7, you run past the "car rental" lot across the street from the San Diego Int'l airport.  I usually hate this part of the run because the runners kind of bunch up, scope out the competition and start taking you on for about a quarter of a mile.  It was me, a girl in ALL LuLuLemon pink and another lady in a black tank with Nike printed hot pants.  They were on each side of me and I had to finally say aloud, "ladies, I love ya'll but it's just too HOT for all of this!".  I couldn't believe I said that but we all had a good laugh and made our way to the next section of the race together.  Another women recognized me from last year's expo and had a full conversation with me (herself) while I struggled with the heat.  She finished her race well, I have to say! Another woman fell and busted her nose about 3 feet in front of me.  We stopped to help and could not figure out how in the world she even fell.  She finished the race and that kept me going through that crazy heat!

Paula Whiting, 24 Wins
Women's overall 1:16:47
Well, after the race was over (here is where my "genius" comes into play), I noticed my left foot cramping up.  I shook it off and didn't think anything of it.  My feet were in pain and my legs had started to burn.  This doesn't happen and not at the magnitude that it did today.  I headed home and when I got there I could BARELY walk from my car to the garage.  What was going on?? Got in the house, walked around a bit and noticed the pain was increasing.

I just STOPPED for a moment, took a deep breath and closed my eyes to just feel my body.  Right at that moment I thought. . .NO WAY!!! I pulled my shoes off and noticed that my orthotics (very hard arch supports) were placed in my shoes backwards.  So, my right one was in my left one and vice versa.  13.1 miles of running and JACKING UP my feet and legs! OUCH!!!

Is this something new? I wish it were but my last race, I forgot to pick up my number, another I forgot my shoes. . .my shoes. . .who does that? and there are other incidents that I will not share that just make my racing days amazingly interesting but this one took the cake for me.  I just knew I bruised my feet.  That's how it felt when I took my shoes off.

Right now my legs and feet are in so much pain, it's killing me to sit in this chair and continue to blog, so with that. . .be safe out there, put your shoes and orthotics on correctly and RUN HAPPY!

Now preparing for the AWESOME 80s 10K in SAN DIEGO! More information to come!