Race Report: La Jolla Half Marathon

Posted on Apr 27, 2010 under Race | 6 Comments

For some reason, I thought I would be able to run as fast or close to the time I ran in my last half marathon, even though the La Jolla Half Marathon is much more difficult with quite a few tough hills. I did my best to read past race reports and even ran into a runner on my way to the expo the day before and got some really helpful advice. He was a 44-year-old who’s been running for years, and he’s actually faster than me! I’m hoping I can grow up to be like him 🙂 Anyways, here are the official results: 1:33:45, 9/162 (AG), 102/5839 (Overall). Given the difficulty of the course, this is probably a decent time, but I’m sure I could have done better and I’ll make sure I do for next year’s 30th Anniversary.

I missed my long run the two weekends before due to a 5K and wedding and since I am in the middle of a marathon training program, I didn’t really taper the week of this half. So this was more or less just another workout, nothing to lose sleep over. But as much as you want to pretend that a race is just another workout, you will still be in that race atmosphere so you’ll always feel at least some pressure. I arrived to the race just before the National Anthem and tried my best to get to the front of the line, but it was too crowded. They also said that iPods were not allowed during the race, but I read that they didn’t really enforce it. I still played it safe and kept my iPod at home; this was the longest distance I’ve ran without music!

It wasn’t too bad passing people in the beginning, but I also wanted to make sure that I didn’t start off too fast so that I still had energy to tackle the hill at mile 6-7. This was my first race with my Garmin and although I did check my pace fairly often, I don’t think I used it to its greatest potential. Before and after the big hill, there was a bunch of rolling hills throughout the course that kept throwing me off my rhythm. I would get comfortable, but then have a hill work through and then have to recover from that hill.

The miles did seem like they were going by pretty quickly, but looking at my pace throughout the race, I knew I was not running as fast as I did during the Carlsbad Half. A couple of miles in, a guy asked me what I was trying to run and I told him ‘..umn somewhere around 1:30’. He was like, ‘woah!’. I didn’t know if he thought I was in the wrong group because: this group was running faster than that, or because I started the race farther back, I was still hanging around with some of the slower runners. At that point, I decided to pick it up a bit, but he actually passed me later on in the race, I can’t remember if I caught back up though.. But by taking it easy, I was able to successfully run up the super tough hill at mile 6. Just before arriving at the foot of the hill, I wanted to yell out, “Is that the hill!?!?”

Because I was iPod-less, there were a lot of other things I heard while running. At the first water station all I heard was the sound of cups falling on the group. It sounded pretty cool, actually. And then before or at each mile marker, I would hear at least one or two watches beep. I’m pretty sure they had it set up to signal each mile, I have yet to set that up on my watch. I also noticed my breathing was not as labored as some of the other runners around me (earlier in the race). Too bad I didn’t capitalize on that. I was definitely unprepared for the hills.

One of the big reasons why people love this course is because it is so scenic; I mean how could it not be when you’re literally running down the coast?! I think the only way I would truly enjoy how scenic a course was is if it was an easy run. But during a race, I really do not care too much for the surroundings (unless it’s a hill that is killing my legs!) Just before the end of the race, we did get to run through the Boardwalk at the beachfront. A good portion of the course was run through neighborhoods too. There were spectators at certain points in the course, but definitely not all. At the points where it was completely quiet was where I missed my iPod most. I’m sure a lot of people who wanted to watch the race just stepped out of their house and hung out at their doorstep, which was pretty convenient.

With the La Jolla Half Marathon over, there should be nothing else going on between now and my first full marathon in June. Like I said earlier, I’ve missed a couple of long runs and even a couple of tempo runs, so I really don’t know how prepared I’ll be for that marathon. I’ll try to make up some miles on my off days and focus on whatever long/tempo runs I still have left and see how I do at the SD Rock N’ Roll!

Race Report: La Jolla Half Marathon

6 Responses to “Race Report: La Jolla Half Marathon”

  1. Anne Says:

    The La Jolla Half is definitely my favorite of the big three halfs in San Diego, as much for the challenge as the scenery. I love the downhill finish at The Cove best, when the crowds swell and the sun is usually out. Glad you survived without an iPod.

  2. lindsay Says:

    oh come on. real runners don’t use an ipod 😉

    congrats on a tough race! sounds like you ran strong, and like you said this was just supposed to be a training run not an all-out race.

    you have plenty of time to get in some longer runs over the next 5+ weeks (not sure when in june your race is). don’t slack on them!!! trust me… PAINFUL! 🙂 lol

  3. meg Ling Says:

    What a great race! I think your time is wonderful, especially with those hills. Hey, I meant to tell you that I saw you running at the Carlsbad 5000! You were wearing the black shirt like the one in your picture above and you were working so hard. Nice job, it was fun recognizing you.
    Again, super race and I’m excited for your first full marathon in June!!

  4. Irene Says:

    Congratulations on an awesome race! I’ve never run the LJ half, just the 5k. It’s a pretty good course for hills, that’s for sure!


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