Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Race Report - 13.1 LA

My first race report, hope I do it right lol.

On Sunday I ran the inaguaral 13.1 Marathon at the beach by Santa Monica/Venice. I wasn't expecting a lot because the packet pickup was so incredibly uneventful, because my running has been not too great lately and because that has to be the stupidest name for a run ever lol. But I was pleasantly surprised.

I had expected it to be MUCH colder at the beach than it was and so I ran in long yoga pants and had a long sleeve shirt jacket to start in which I assumed I'd be tying around my waist halfway through the run. But after standing in the crowd at the start for a few minutes I realized I was already warm enough to ditch it and so gave it to my husband before time to go. 5 minutes before the run the announcer said something about if you don't see the words "this side up" on your shoe tag then you have it on wrong. I didn't see those words so I start unlacing my shoe frantically to turn it over, only to find it doesn't actually say that ANYWHERE on the stupid tag lol. So I relaced and was feeling all worried I'd be trampled on when the race started with me still down here trying to fix a non existent problem. I had to laugh when I realized the girl next to me was doing the exact same thing hehe. Luckily the race started a little late so I was not trampled.

I don't know how people can post things that happen in every mile, it's all about a blur to me lol. So I'll just break it down into first half and second half. The first couple of miles were really a blur because I had to keep my head down and watch feet a lot in an effort to avoid collisions with the other runners. But I know we went along the Venice beach storefronts before heading inland where most of the run took place. I'm not sure which mile it was in, may have been towards the end of the first one, but I saw Danica standing and cheering us on in the middle of the median. I had just recently started following her blog and probably would not have recognized her except for the pink tutu :) What a total sweetheart for being out there to cheer us on when she wasn't running! It brought a huge smile to my face which carried me through at least a mile or two :) Thanks Danica!

In watching my Garmin and the mile markers that they had every mile (this was the first race I've done where they had the electronic signs on every mile, NICE!) I realized I was running at a faster pace than what I train at but at first it didn't bother me at all. I carried my own water bottle which I figured I'd ditch after the first couple of miles then be able to take from the water stations after the crowd thinned some. But I never finished the whole water... baaaaad me :( Somewhere around mile three I walked for a bit to get a good drink but started running again right away. I was shocked when we passed under the 405 freeway. I'm not sure why I was shocked but it just seemed to me that the freeway was soooo far from the beach and did I really run that far? lol The race was an out and back so around mile 5 or so?? I saw the mobile camera screen car and started seeing the leading runners heading back in. I couldn't help but to cheer for them, what amazing runners! I paid particular attention to the women. The first woman I saw was running in a tight V with two men ahead of her. Probably a great strategy but to me it seems like cheating. So when I saw the second place woman running completely alone with no one even close to her I cheered extra loud lol. Then I was a little shocked by the third place woman running in nothing but a bikini! lol Sure would be nice to have a body you could run in a bikini in! Not that I would actually do it, but wow, the confidence she must have to know that nothing is gonna jiggle hahaha. Before I knew it I was rounding the corner myself and heading back towards the beach.

My stomach was starting to feel iffy and I started worrying about where the porta potties were. I remembered seeing a short row of them under the 405 overpass and decided I could wait that long. About this time I try to do the math and think it would actually be possible, if I can keep my pace or possibly pick it up just a little, to run the half in under two hours (I suck at math though lol). That notion was astonishing to me but I was definitely starting to feel tired and I was getting a pain in my lower back that I'd never had running before. My porta potty stop was in mile ten and the urge had actually passed but I was worried it would come back and there'd be nowhere to stop. I probably should have held out for the finish line because stopping didn't just slow me down for that mile, but I never could quite get my pace back and it seemed to let everything catch up to me. I think that little rest signaled my body that I was done :( Plus a guy yanked the door hard enough to unlatch it and expose my half nekkid self to the whole world for a split second... could have done without THAT too lol. The best part of the second half of the run was a sign I passed that said "run now, beer later" lol. That got me smiling and I started thinking hey, are they serving beer after this run? Is that why it's "party meets the pavement"? cool! lol My last couple of miles were harsh. I tried to pick up speed when I realized I was almost done but there was just no speed left in me. My official finish time was 2:06:19, which was still a PR for me!! Not bad for an old lady who smoked for 13 years and hasn't been running very long :) Here are the Garmin times:
1) 8:44 2) 8:48 3) 9:29 4) 9:19 5) 9:17 6) 9:31 7) 9:21
8) 9:22 9) 9:20 10) 10:59 11) 9:51 12) 9:58 13) 10:26 14) 2:31 (forgot to turn it off)

I never found the beer at the end of the race and the line for what I think was free burritos?? was longer than I had patience for, but they had plenty of bagels, oranges, bananas, protein drinks and waters afterwards. And it took no time at all to get your final results which was really nice! I had to forgive them for the boring packet pickup because the expo was just after the race instead of before it lol. But we had to be somewhere so didn't hang around long. I got our times, had a water and a protein shake and we were on our way.
Here's the best part of the day for me :) I've put my kids in all the 5k's that are attached to the runs I've done so far. They don't "train" but might run a 3 miler with me once a week or so and they do some running in gym at school. They ran the 5k in this race as well and my 9 year old son finished in 22 minutes, 28 seconds to get first place in his division and my 10 year old daughter finished in 25 minutes 35 seconds to get second place in hers :) I am sooooo proud of them both! There were no finisher medals for the 5K but because they both placed they have special red and blue medals that they are so proud of :)

Before the pics I will just say that I felt really horrible for the whole rest of the day. I was really queasy and shaky even after eating and later in the day I got a nasty headache as well. Looking at the Garmin info I think I ran faster than I was ready for and maybe just because you CAN do something it doesn't necessarily mean that you SHOULD lol. My average heartrate for the run was 170. I'm still waiting on those running books I ordered so I don't know what it should have been but I'm guessing that was probably a little high to sustain for two hours. At the end of the run my legs were dying and I realized I have a lot more work to do before the LA Marathon! And I also realized that I need to slow it down if I expect to finish it because I asked myself at the end, "could you turn around and do that again right now?" and the answer was a resounding NO lol. My legs are still pretty sore today, three days after the run. I did a slow 4 miles yesterday instead of the easy 8 on my training schedule and will try to do those 8 today.

The only time I saw the camera, totally dorky lol. But in the pics where I did NOT see the camera I look like I'm about to DIE lol so I'll take it :)

My son Danny running the 5K
My daughter Nina... she sees EVERY camera hehe.

The family that runs together :) :) :)

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