Tuesday, October 28, 2014

2014 Rock 'n' Roll Los Angeles Recap

On Sunday, I ran the Rock 'n' Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon. It didn't go perfectly but it was a lot of fun. I did learn a few things:

1. Pack your fairy wings in the car the night before so you don't forget them.
2. Eat enough before the race and don't forget to bring water for before the race.
3. Don't go out too aggressively in the first half of the race if all the hills are in the second half!

And on to the recap...

The Expo
I went to the Expo on Saturday morning to pick up my bib and meet up with a few people. I knew Sue, a fellow Run It Faster, would be at the Fitletic booth and I found her!
 Then I did some shopping and some buying of stuff:

Then I went to the Got Chocolate Milk booth for the tweetup and met @PavementRunner and a slew of other runners, including Fireman Rob:

Then it was time to head back to have lunch with my dad who was in town to visit. Oh, here's my shirt and bib for the race:

Pre Race
I set my alarm for 3:30 and slept fitfully that night. But I think I got about 4-5 hours of sleep. I woke up with both alarms going off, got up and ate part of a bagel w/some orange juice. Then I got ready. I wanted to leave by 4:30 and almost made it out the door on time. I forgot I needed safety pins to pin my wings so I set them down to grab the pins and turned and rushed out the door. And you guessed it...I forgot my wings! I didn't remember til I was about 10 miles away and there wasn't enough time to go back.

I miraculously found the parking lot where I'd reserved my parking space (yay, go me!) and then finished getting ready (changed shoes, put on tutu, big, etc.) and headed to the race start which was about a half mile away. Got there, hit the port-a-potties, and then wandered around looking at all the costumes. About 15 minutes before 7, I ate half of my Honey Stinger Energy Chews. I had also forgotten to bring an extra bottle of water so had nothing to wash them down with. Doh! But finally, it was time to get in the corrals and wait for the start of the race.

The race started just before 7 with the wheelchairs, then the elites, then all the other corrals. My corral got to the start line about 7:18ish and then they counted us down. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

The Race
And we were off!

The race started off on a slight downhill. I was trying to run by feel and it felt really easy but I looked down at my watch and saw I was running a 10 min mile and worried that was too fast. I finally decided to just go with it and that first mile was 10:02 and the second was 9:52. Oops. I forced myself to slow down for the 3rd mile to 10:40 but the next mile was back to 10:15. Then the next mile I started to fade. I think I hadn’t been drinking enough water and I hadn’t eaten enough before the race. At mile 5 I had the rest of my Honey Stinger chews and I felt a little better after that. I saw my friend Tim finishing when I got to the 10K mark and then I heard my friend Josh (@bayou) yell my name just after that (he also cheered me at the finish and took the photos of me). Also, I heard my friend Tony from Instagram yelling at me a couple of times on the course. Those cheers really helped!

The problem, I think, was that from mile 3 to about mile 7.5, the course was uphill. Not a big hill really until the last bit but enough that I could see my pace dropping and got a little frustrated. I was still feeling a little tired but legs felt good. I could see the 2:15 pacers just ahead of me and I tried to keep them in my sights. I managed to hang near them until the turnaround at 9.5 miles and then lost them. I took a gel and was out of water in my handheld so walked a little thru this aid station to make sure I got enough water in.

I was afraid I would try to walk on that last hill in mile 12 but only walked a tiny bit thru the 11 mile aid station to get water and that was it. I wasn’t fast but I was steady. Then we made it to the top and it was downhill to the finish. I let my legs do what they wanted and ran as hard as I could. I finished in 2:26:16. Not the time I had hoped for but I'll take it. My A goal was 2:20 and my C goal was to beat the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (he finished in 3:09 so I was good there). So I ended up accomplishing my B goal which was sub 2:30.

Here's my medal! Pretty cools, eh? Love the Halloween theme!

I ended up shaving 8 minutes off my time from the Leading Ladies Half in August. At first, I was
disappointed that I hadn't shaved off more but then I remembered that LLH was a great downhill course (included in pic above) and this one was not. I know that I have become much stronger since then and I had hoped to prove that to myself and I did.

I also think a big part of my problem was fueling and hydration. I ran 7 miles today and my legs felt great, not tired at all, so I know I gave everything I could on Sunday but not everything my legs could. Does that make sense? I know I had a 2:20 in me. I just need to get back into racing mode again. And run smarter! My garmin read 13.4 miles at the end. There were a lot of turns on the course and I did a terrible job of running the tangents. There was also a lot of dodging people. And of course, a lot of costumes to look at! Hopefully, I will do a better job of paying attention at Avengers Half (hmmm, that could be hard!) but for sure at the Dallas Half! :)

So, a couple of disappointments (forgetting my wings and not hitting 2:20) but overall I had a lot of fun and I am happy with how I did. I missed this race last year because I'd had surgery to remove my ovarian cancer tumor (along with a full hysterectomy and appendectomy) just 4 weeks before it. I was really pissed that I missed it last year. This year was I ran it to give cancer the middle finger. I think I did that. :)

Honestly, it just feels so awesome to be racing again. That, my friends, is the real win.

1 comment:

  1. Great race, congrats on a solid (colourful) finish! What amazing progress you've made this year. I am doing a happy dance on your behalf :)