Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon Race Report 2014

Posted on Jun 21, 2014 under Race | 4 Comments

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The Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon was probably one of the most hyped races I’ve ran in quite some time. What do I mean when I say hyped? There were just certain expectations that I felt pressured to accomplish, whether it was reasonable or not is another question. Let me first share the official results: 1:31:30 (6:59 min/mile), 55/938 age group, 343/16897 overall. My PR for the half is 1:28 but I ran that over 4 years ago. I actually ran a 1:31 again back in 2011 in SD, but my average half marathon pace has hovered around 1:35 (usually with minimal training..) So it’s definitely a good time and I’m pretty satisfied with the results. But the bigger story is who I was running with and who was pacing me. Believe it or not, it was Meb Keflezighi! So let’s start at the beginning..

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This year’s Boston Marathon was probably the most important race it its history, considering last year’s tragic events. It brought the city of Boston together and there were definitely more people paying attention to the race than usual. So it was quite fitting that Meb Keflezighi, an American runner, won this year’s Boston Marathon (first since 1983). Shortly after the victory, it was announced that Meb (who grew up in San Diego) would actually run at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego half marathon. But instead of competing in it, he would just run as a pacer for the 1:30 group. I knew I was going to run the SD half since at least February or March, but hadn’t really been training for it, which should not be a surprise anymore. Meb won Boston on April 21, they announced he would pace on April 30. As mentioned before, my PR was technically faster than 1:30, but I have never really gotten close to 1:30 for a while now. I did run a 1:34 at the Carlsbad half marathon in January, so I knew there was a possibility of me actually keeping up and running with Meb, I had to at least try..

What I forgot to mention was that I was also registered for a 66 mile bike ride the day before the half marathon! Long story short, I was participating for someone else who initially registered but could not do it anymore. So the past month or two before both races, I was doing a long bike ride on Saturday followed by a long run on Sunday. It was hard doing both in one weekend, and it usually involved taking a nap after each workout, but at least I knew I would be able to do it. The only problem was the half marathon was really the only event I cared about doing well in, and that was after the 66 mile bike ride! But I had already promised to do the ride, which was pretty expensive too! So I did my best to get as many runs in as possible, leading up to the race on June 1.

My initial plan was to try and get a picture of/with Meb before the race started, while we were waiting in our corrals. He didn’t actually show up until about 2-3 minutes before the gun went off, but I actually had the opportunity to meet him in person at the race expo! It was only limited to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Tour Pass holders, so it was a short wait and line to meet him. After I got the photo with him before the race, I didn’t have to worry about it during the race and just focus on trying to keep up.

The first few miles were pretty exciting, running with Meb and everyone else trying to hit 1:30. Obviously, the pace was not difficult for Meb and he was able to easily run at the pace, while acknowledging spectators, talking to and answering questions from other nearby runners. It was funny to see as our group passed slower runners and they realized it was Meb, they would then proceed to take a selfie with him before getting passing them. My goal was to hang on as long as possible (ideally the whole race), but after the first 5-6 miles, I started to get more and more tired. I knew I was going to fall back soon, so I did what all the other runners who were getting passed, I made sure to take a selfie with Meb too! It took a couple of shots since I was still running at the time, but I got a decent shot of myself and Meb running together (although he did not bother to even look in my direction). There was actually an official photographer riding a motorcycle ahead of us for the first mile of the race. They posted one of those photos on their official Instagram page with me in the shot! Unfortunately, I had blinked in that shot, but it’s still official proof that I ran with Meb…for 7 miles.

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The rest of the race was tough, the 1:30 group was gone now and other runners were passing me too. There were one or two runners I tried staying with. The pace for miles 8-11 were much slower than the previous 7. Mile 12 and 13 were a little bit faster, mostly because there were downhills that I was able to take advantage of. I was also able to finish the race on a sprint with another runner, which was a good sign.

When I found out my official time, I was surprised that I finished just 1:30 behind Meb and his group. It wasn’t until later that I found out that the group actually finished at 1:28. My theory is that the people who ran in the 1:30 group were actually faster runners and just wanted to hang back and run with Meb (who can blame them, I would have done the same). I’m sure there were some slower runners who were able to go faster and PR with Meb, which is great. I’m still happy I was able to finish just 3:30 behind Meb and I got photographic records of me running with him, not very many people can say that!

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Xterra Black Mountain 16K Trail Run Race Report

Posted on Apr 18, 2014 under Race | 1 Comment

xterra trail run logoLike all races I’ve ran the past year or so, I did not feel prepared for this race. I stopped running in the mornings  and started going to the gym after work (if it’s not too late and I feel motivated to go..) At the gym, I’ve been doing the same routine: 1 mile warm-up on the treadmill, 7-minute workout on my Pebble watch, 3 sets of dumbbell chest press and crunches and one set of 12-15 reps of pull-ups (my worst/favorite workout). It’s good enough to put me in a sweat and keep my in decent physical shape, but definitely not good for race training. I usually run long(ish) on the weekends, which seems to be good enough. Here are the results of the Xterra Black Mountain 16K trail run: 1:17:48, 9.40 mi (8:16 min/mi), 10/22 AG, 51/326 overall. Placing doesn’t really mean much to me when it comes to smaller/trail races, you can never predict how well you’ll do in these types of races. What I was happy with was the overall time and pacing. I ran this race 2 years ago, the course was more or less the same, rolling hills throughout the race, noticeable ones around miles 5 and 6 as well as the 1-2 mile uphill to finish the race! My time then was 1:20:03 which is pretty good, especially considering I had ran 4 half marathons and 2 10K’s that year prior to the race. This was only my 3rd race of the year, I definitely need to catch up! Read the rest of this entry »

2014 LA Chinatown Firecracker 10K Race Report

Posted on Mar 01, 2014 under Race | 1 Comment

LA Chinatown Firecracker 10KA Family that Runs Together, Stays Together

This is the 4th year I’ve ran this race now, and 2nd that I’ve ran it with my siblings and nephews. It’s always fun to run this race since I get to run it with family and compete against some other friends that are always trying to beat me. It’s also in LA so it gives me a reason to go visit the parents for the weekend and it’s a local race so it benefits my old high school too. I have a running competition with an old high school runner friend, so far I’ve beaten him in the last two 5Ks we’ve ran and was supposed to race this time too. But he didn’t get a chance to train and bailed out, so I ended up running the 10K like I have been the past 3 years. I actually did a few hill/trail runs before to prepare for this race. I guess it paid off. Results: 42:53 (6:54 min/mile), placing: 5/180 age group, 35/2387 overall. I actually got beat by my brother’s friend by 6 seconds last year (46:03), so my goal for this year was to hopefully run around 45 minutes (always nice to exceed expectations). This years’ time was the 2nd fastest I’ve ran this course, but I am still happy with the results and placing! Read the rest of this entry »

Race Report: 2014 Carlsbad Half Marathon

Posted on Jan 19, 2014 under Race | No Comment

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Looks like I’m making it a habit to run this race ever other year. When I ran it in 2010, it was my 2nd half marathon and it is still my fastest half to date at 1:28. I ran it again in 2012 and ran a decent time of 1:34:08. I just realized now that I just barely beat that time today at 1:34:01! Here are the official results: Miles 1-7: 51:43 (7:23 min/mile), Miles 8-13.1: 42:19 (6:50 min/mile), Finish: 1:34:01 (7:08 min/mile), AG: 21/304, Overall: 217/7,256. The strategy was pretty simple (although still hard to accomplish): run with the 1:40 pacer for 7-8 miles and then pick up the pace for the rest of the race. But the last time I ran a half was in June 2013 and then I broke my hand and stopped doing anything for about 2 months before getting back into running. Like always, the training program wasn’t very focused; just run as often as possible (mostly 3-milers 3-4 days a week) and get some long runs in. I never really broke 8:30 pace during any of those runs! Read the rest of this entry »

About Heart Rate Monitors

Posted on Dec 30, 2013 under run | 1 Comment

Those who are serious about taking their training to another level will find that using a heart rate monitor during their work out sessions is very beneficial. Without it, a person will often worry that they are under training and will often make the mistake of over training. It is great for a person to go by what their body feels, but sometimes it is best to use a beneficial tool like a heart rate monitor so they can determine how far they should push themselves. These gadgets will let a person know when their body is being pushed hard enough to achieve results without causing any injuries.

Beginners will sometimes make the mistake of working out too intensely. They often believe that they can still do what they once did many years ago. By using a heart rate monitor, they’ll be able to make sure that they work out at the right intensity level and slowly work their way up to more challenging workout sessions. Serious athletes also benefit from these gadgets as they find them very useful to help reach their specific fitness goals.

There are many different types of heart rate monitors out in the market, and the one that somebody chooses is very important. The type of activity that a person regularly participates in should have a big influence in their choice. This is because there are heart rate monitors that are made for those who participate in certain types of activities. For example, if somebody is a runner, they’re going to want to get a heart rate monitor that is designed to track distance, pace, heart rate and performance zones. Cyclist will want a heart rate monitor that tracks distance, speed and heart rate. Swimmers will want to make sure that they get one that gives an accurate reading during and after making contact with water. No matter what activity a person participates in, there is a heart rate monitor that is perfect for them.

Runner’s Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Posted on Nov 24, 2013 under running | No Comment

Quick running update: I was going to take a break from running after the Long Beach 5K and focus more on biking and just working out at the gym. But then they started a running club at work to train for a half marathon in January, so I decided to sign up for that race as well. I’ve been running, but not necessarily training for the half by running a few miles during the week and then (semi)-long during the weekend. We’ll see if that’s good enough to compete in the half.

This will be my first runner’s holiday gift guide for 2013 (ever actually). At first I was worried because I thought I was going to need to do extensive research on new products and technology. But in reality, I’m just going to list things on my current wish list as well as things I’ve received to review that I actually enjoy using. I’ve provided convenient (affiliate) links to purchase most of the products listed below. Read the rest of this entry »

Long Beach 5K Race Report

Posted on Oct 14, 2013 under Race | 1 Comment

This is my first official race after breaking my wrist during 4th of July weekend which resulted in surgery and 6 weeks in a cast. Although I was technically able to run with the cast on, I was also transitioning to a new job and I didn’t want to be ‘that’ guy with the stinky cast. So I really just limited myself to short walks and a few visits to the gym. I was supposed to run another 5K with my friend at the end of July because he wanted a rematch after I beat him at the Santa Anita 5K. So we finally found another race that we both could commit to, the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon (which also included a half, bike ride and the 5K). In hindsight, we probably should have found a smaller/local 5K, rather than one that was dedicated to the half/full and bike ride, with a 5K on the side. Traffic and parking was pretty bad and I didn’t start the 5K until 5 minutes after because my friend took the bus to the start which kept getting detoured because of road closures from the half and full marathons. Aside from the logistical issues, I actually ran very well, 2 seconds off my 5K PR to be exact! Results: 3.02 miles, 19:00, (6:18 min/mile), placing: Gender: 7/575, AG 2/42, 7/1632 overall. I’m still waiting to confirm the official placing because there were a lot of 0:00 results, which probably means I did not place as well as it currently says. But the time is correct since I timed it myself. That itself is very strange. When I ran 18:58 at the Carlsbad 5000 in 2010, I felt like I was in really good shape and running pretty fast. This morning’s race was completely different. Because I started late, I spent the first half mile or so weaving through walkers and joggers. But like other races I’ve ran in the past, that may have been one of the reasons I ran so well, which I’ll get into below.

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4th of July Scripps Ranch 28 Mile Bike Ride Race Report

Posted on Jul 27, 2013 under Race | No Comment

Couple of weeks late with this post as usual. The Old Pros Scripps Ranch 4th of July events include a 2 mile fun run, 10K, as well as 12, 28 and 50 mile bike ride. For the past four years, I’ve been running the 10K, but this year decided to try out the 28 mile bike ride. Unofficial results: 29.00 mi, 1:55:09, 15.1 mph, max speed: 37.0 mph. It took you through quite a few different neighborhoods, so I’m hoping I can use this route on a long ride in the future. Like my other bike rides, I did a few long rides couple of weeks before. It seemed like it was enough for me to complete this ride. I hurt my hand in a dirt biking incident, so I haven’t been able to run for the past few weeks. Now I’m in a cast so I’ll be out for at least another month or two, which has been really hard to do. Hopefully I’ll find something else to keep me busy.

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UCSD Triton 5K Race Report

Posted on Jun 09, 2013 under Race | No Comment

Hopefully this race report is even more ‘brief’ than the last one. It should be too, it was only a 5K; not even a week after last week’s half marathon! Because the race was so short, the slightest difference in results made a huge difference in pace. The results I got from my phone were 2.93 miles, 19:47 (6:46 min/mile). But since the official results assumed you ran the full 3.1 miles, it was saying my pace was 6:23 min/mile, which again is a big difference. The course did feel pretty short, but almost .2 miles? Maybe. Placing wasn’t bad, 61/1852. I have to admit though, running with a bunch of college kids (almost 10 years older) was tough, they were crushing it! And they were running a week before finals week too, better than procrastinating, I suppose.  Read the rest of this entry »

San Diego 2013 Rock n Roll Half Marathon Race Report

Posted on Jun 09, 2013 under Race | No Comment

I always say I’m going to be brief but end up writing way too much for anyone to be interested in reading. So I’ll get straight to the point, here are the official results: 1:37:56, 13.01 mi (7:32 min/mile). Placing: AG 107/1071, overall 688/18,072. If you look at the splits graph below and the following milestone split, you can tell what type of race it was: 5K 21:47 (7:01), 10K 44:36 (7:11), 10 mi 1:14:07 (7:24), 13.01 1:37:56 (7:32). As always, I can’t complain with the overall results, it just hurt like heck running it, for a number of reasons. So if anything, this can be a post about how NOT to run a race! Read the rest of this entry »

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