Quick Summary: 13.23 miles, 1:31:09 (6:53 min/mile). Splits: 5K: 21:41, 10K: 43:25, 8.1 miles: 56:25, 10 miles: 1:09:37. Age Group: 31/930, Overall: 162/17,152. Like always, I wanted to keep myself from starting off too fast and even decided to run with a slower pacer (1:35) for most of the race and then pick up the pace later on. I ended up running on my own for most of the race, but fortunately didn’t start off too fast which allowed me to run at a fairly comfortable/even pace throughout the race. There were very little uphills but a few downhills which I used to my advantage. This was my second fastest half performance, which I’m super proud about. I said in a previous post, this race is more like a training race for my next big race, the San Francisco Half Marathon at the end of July where I’ll actually be racing my brother and his friends!
I usually try to write up my race reports the day of (pretty hard considering how tired I am from running the actual race!) But I met up with some friends later on that afternoon to go ice skating; probably not the best idea, but it was still fun. The workweek was bad because I was taking time off to go to my sister’s graduation so it was like getting 5 day’s worth of work into 3. Anyways, I’m sitting at the airport and our flight is delayed, so what better time to write my race report than now?
I ran the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll San Diego Marathon last year as my first full marathon. It was a very hard race, not completely due to the course, more because it was my first race and I may not have trained enough for it. So a year went by and I actually ran the LA Marathon since then with a similar outcome (this time due to Mother Nature). I still felt that I should run the Rock ‘n Roll since it was a local race, one of the biggest ones (30,000 it was reported) in the country!
The only thing I focused on when training for this half was making sure I got in my long runs. I was not able to run as much during the week but mixed in some cycling. I also helped out Brooks at the race expo all day before the race so I didn’t know how that was going to affect me. My estimated finished time put me in Corral 2 which was nice so I didn’t have to worry too much about weaving around other runners at the start.
One thing that I missed during the race, but heard about after was that there was a flash mob just before the gun went off. Unfortunately, I was already in my corral doing my final stretches before the start. Here is the video that was produced (and sponsored) by Dodge, it’s pretty awesome!
For the first 4 miles, the half and full marathoners are together, but split up after. We then ran our own routes but at the end finish at the same place in Sea World. I tried to go at around 7:10-7:15 pace for the first couple of miles. I remember my pace would be all over the place, as fast as 6:30 to as slow as 7:25/30. But the good thing was that I did not feel too tired at any point and was able to maintain a pretty even pace. I always try to replicate the strategy I used in my PR race, which was run with someone for a while and then if I felt comfortable enough or the runner in front wasn’t too far, I would surge to catch up and run with them. This time, when I tried doing it, I couldn’t find a runner that wanted to go with me. So there were quite a few stretches where I ran alone.
In my PR race, I only had water once which led me to believe that I could do that in all races. But this race is at a totally different time of year and it had started to get hot for the last couple of miles. I think I hydrated every other station that was available. At one station, I thought it was water so I poured it on my head to cool down only to realize that it was actually a sports drink! I immediately grabbed a real water to watch myself off, which was kind of gross!
There is a stretch toward the end of the marathon that I hated last year, it was a 5 mile loop called Fiesta Island. There were barely any spectators there last year, so it was a very lonely stretch that we had to run through. I think this year, they shortened that part to only 3 miles, but fortunately, the half does not even go through that part, which I liked.
I wish I could remember what every mile felt like, but it’s hard for me to remember a few hours after the race, let alone a few days! There are a couple of miles where you’re actually on the freeway, which is…interesting. They blocked it off on both sides, so you’re perfectly safe and it’s super wide so you’re not crowded or anything. Now that I think about it, maybe they should start the race on a freeway so that there is more room to maneuver and then funnel it to the regular course after. A lot of the course was, I forget the word, but slanted? We’re on the streets, so they’re built angled so rain will fall toward the sideways and gutters rather than stay on the roads. It does make sense for drivers, but as a runner, it kind of sucked!
Overall, it was a very fun race to run. I think you enjoy races more when you actually run it the right way and feel good during the run. I’ve lost count at how many races I’ve started too fast only to feel super tired for the rest of the race, not being able to make a move or surge or feel good at all! I know I have one 10K that I always run on the 4th of July, but the only other race I might run is a trail race sometime in July. Races photos are up already as well as a finishing video, which I’ll possibly post separately (don’t think I have any worth sharing).