Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Race Report: Rock 'n Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon

Rock 'n Roll Los Angeles
October 26 | Los Angeles

After working the expo nearly 20 hours between Friday and Saturday, by the time I got home Saturday night I was beyond wiped and a little nervous for how it would affect me come Sunday morning. Thankfully, I don't think I felt it all that much, but was in bed and asleep well before 9:30 - with a 4:45 alarm, it was much needed.

Doug came and met me at the house and we were off just about 5:45, but had gotten delayed by an accident that closed all the lanes on the freeway (at 5:30 am mind you!), and then we hit another that had us super delayed. We got to downtown LA (the off-ramp, at least) that we needed about 6:05 and didn't even get close to the parking garages until 6:30. We Chinese fire-drilled at a light so I could fniish getting dressed and bolt out of the car while he went to go park. I sprinted to the start line to meet up with these crazies...

Featuring mostly #SA2LV crazies.. and me... Michael, Brian, Nancy... 
... little did I know, Doug parked, decided sleeping wasn't going to happen, and made it to the start line to and was right by our corral. Bummer! Anyway, I was assigned Corral 6 based on my hopeful 2-hour finish, but made my way into Corral 2 to start with these guys (or at least get the photo). I was nervous that starting that far up, I'd get caught up in speed and excitement and totally fall apart later. Foreshadowing: not entirely the case. Win.

The course is not uber exciting - there are certainly more exciting places to run, especially in LA, but such is life. The race starts at LA Live and the Staples Center, heads down Figueroa to USC and the Coliseum (that you run around - or, if you're speedy enough, run up in a tunnel, snap a photo, and bolt back out), all the way back up Fig to 3rd and Central and some not-so-great LA highlights. Miles 9/10 lead you up a nasty bridge over the train tracks and back down, and once you're back through the 3rd Street tunnel, it's a downhill coast to the finish.

After pacing Monica at Long Beach to a super-comfy 2:06, I was confident that I could rock a sub-2 finish - which would be my first solo attempt since actually doing it at Fontana in June on a screaming downhill course. Again, still a little nervous how 10 hours on my feet at the expo on Saturday would get to me, but I was gonna roll with it as best as I could.

The first three miles were quick - I felt like I was getting a groove into mile 3 or so, but it was still flat and I was aiming just to feel consistent and not too fast so I didn't burn out.

5K: 26:52
Okay, not too bad. Feeling good, now in a groove and ready to look forward to at least mile 5. Then I can chill. Right?

10K: 54:40
10K split PR by almost 5 minutes - can this race just end here? I felt okay - this is right about where I was starting to feel how fast I'd pushed the first couple of miles, but we looped back by where the finish lines were and I knew Doug was there so I at least had to feign feeling damn good.

Walked at the Mile 7 water station, first walk break for 10 seconds. We ran the tunnel going into mile 8, which messed with everyone's Garmin/watch satellite and set me back about .10mi for the rest of the race.

10M: 1:31:49
15K split PR by almost 10 minutes. Seriously, can we end now? This is also right where the bridge is and though I was warned, it was steeper than I'd anticipated. I ran halfway up, walked through the turn around and started going again just before the mile 10 flag (slowest mile at 10:40).

Sweet view of downtown though! Top of the bridge.
Back through the tunnel (which had to be at least 115 degrees thanks to all the bodies going in both directions now - so gross!), cruise up the last part of the grade, and rock the downhill to the finish. I got this - I knew I'd squeak in, if I made it, and couldn't have cut it any closer...

1605 / 7762 overall
102 / 802 division
482 / 4578 females

I was really upset for those measly 20 seconds, but I also get to look at that now and say that YES, I can run a sub-2 on my own and on a flatter course than that is of Fontana. I ran this course well - strong, despite that bridge, and after being on my feet at the expo for two days straight. I ran solo, not with a friend nor a pacer, and rocked my timing pretty much as perfect as I could get. Fueled well and consistently, and most importantly... had a blast. 

Do you run in costume? What are you going to be for Halloween?

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