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» Los Angeles Rock N Roll Half Marathon Race Recap
Los Angeles Rock N Roll Half Marathon Race Recap
I ran the Los Angeles Rock N Roll Half Marathon yesterday. While I’ve been nursing a few aches and pains since the Long Beach Half 3 weeks ago, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this race. I had 2 main goals: 1) finish uninjured and 2) finish. Secondary was my time goal to finish with an average pace that started with a 10.
The last half-marathon that I ran alone was the Las Vegas RnR back last December. While I had a pretty good race and was one of the lucky ones to not get sick or have any issues, I did feel like I’ve come a long way in terms of speed since then (in my slow world) and was hoping to see how things would go yesterday.
However, I was dealing with an irritable ITB and a new tightness in my priformis and so I wasn’t really sure how it’d all go. My running buddy K came with me for the day and it was great to have company and a mini cheering squad.
at the start
The ASPCA mascot – before the race
The race itself was great. The Competitor Group completely redeemed themselves in my book after the Vegas disaster. This was an excellently run race. Parking was easy, traffic was light.
The corrals were small and while there were people supposedly making sure that runners lined up correctly, I did see people in the wrong corrals. However, the groupings seemed to work well. No weaving around walkers in the beginning, it was all very organized. The wave start got off quickly. I was in Corral 12 and we started less than 30 minutes after the official start.
The course was great. We started in Downtown at LA Live and went south towards USC and made a loop around the Coliseum. We then went back north to LA Live and turned east through downtown. I enjoyed the loops as there were always people going the opposite direction and with the Halloween themed race, there was always something fun to watch.
The crowd support was great. Especially as we were going through the industrial areas through miles 8-11. There were local cheerleaders and just generally great crowds.
My race: my plan was to start out with an average pace in the low 11′s. I was thinking to take a short walk break at every mile marker as the run/walk intervals tend to keep away the aches and pains for me. The race started and I started a little faster than planned, but my average pace was about 10:50 and I felt super comfortable. So, I stayed with it. At the 5K mark, I was still at about 10:50 and was still feeling good.
When I took my walk breaks, my average pace would quickly drop to the 11′s and that messed with my brain. My legs quickly got tired. I knew then that I had started too fast and that messed with my brain, too. Typically, I get stronger during runs, I don’t fade. Not yesterday. By mile 5, I started to lose things mentally. I’m not really sure what happened. By then, I’d known that my pace goal wasn’t going to happen and that was fine, but all of a sudden, 13.1 miles seemed a really really long way away.
As we started on the 2nd loop at mile 6, we started up slight hill and my stomach did a little freak out. I had to walk to deal with the cramping. At this point, I was watching a lot of the faster runners tear down the hills to the finish. All of that messed more with my head.
The good news of the day is that all of my usual aches and pains stayed away. No ITB pain, no knee pain, and I could feel the tightness in my priformis, but it stayed the same through the whole race. Bad news of the day – both of my hip flexors and both of my ankles weren’t happy. At. All.
As I was struggling through mile 7, I had been taking more walk breaks. I heard my phone ding and recognized that it was a text from my husband. I read the text a few minutes later when walking and found the most wonderfully encouraging text. He was getting text updates on my race and saw the 10K split and the change from the 5K and texted me some encouragement. It could not have come at a better time. I got a little emotional about how lucky I was to be out there running. I was so appreciative knowing that he was cheering for me and my attitude got better.
I was not able to get my achy legs to pick up the pace all that much, but I did get my head back in things mentally and the walk breaks became less frequent. There was a giant hill leading up to mile 10 (that was cruel), so I walked up it. We were nearing the last turn around and I then saw my blogger friend Caroline from Canadian Runner in Exile. I cheered out some encouragement (although since I had music going and was pretty tired, I know I yelled really super loud and I apologize to everyone around me for shocking them). Caroline’s encouragement back to me was super helpful at that time.
After the turnaround. We were treated to a gorgeously clear view of Los Angeles.
In the next picture, you can see the Hollywood Sign and the Griffith Park Observatory on the hill.
I continued my run/walk. Things were still hurting (mostly my hip flexors), but they hurt to walk just as much as to run, so when I finally saw mile 12, I decided it was better to run and just be done.
the guy in the sweats was blasting music through the tunnel and cheering
I wouldn’t say I picked up the pace to the finish. But, the gentle downhill slope (of the uphill that had killed me at mile 6-7) was very very appreciated.
You can see that mile 5 was where things took a turn for the worse. I was rather shocked at my last little .1 kick at the end. I must have really wanted to be done.
I like to look at the chart for my pace as well. You can see how much more frequent my walk breaks became towards the end. Final time 2:39:38 (avg. pace 12:09).
For those of you who remember the green bananas in Vegas – I just had to snap a picture of these bananas. I guess Competitor Group found a better banana supplier.
Since this was a fundraiser for the ASPCA, there were some puppies hanging around meeting people and looking for their forever homes. Don’t you think taking home a puppy would be better than a medal? How cute is this little guy?
My friend and I hit the road home and made a stop for some breakfast. Of course, I had some pancakes. Amazing. Well earned.
Later on in the evening, I rested with some compression socks and ice on my hip flexors. There was also a yummy burger, some frozen yogurt and a glass of wine.
All in all, half marathon number 5 was a success. It was difficult. It messed with my head, but I pushed through and finished strong. I know I said that things were hurting, but it wasn’t ever sharp pains, and I know my hip flexors are a weak point in my body. I am pretty confident that these aren’t serious injuries, just my body telling me where the weaknesses are and where I should work on improvements.
Honestly, I don’t have plans to run another half marathon for a while. The next steps for me are strength training and just enjoying running and working out. This is week two of Best Body Bootcamp. I’m taking today as a well earned rest day and can’t wait to get started on week 2 tomorrow.
And a final note – I wore my Yurbuds headphones during the race and they were awesome. Don’t miss out on your chance to win a pair for yourself. My giveaway is here – ends Friday.
Do you read texts during a race?
Just a few more days left to vote – Thank you so so much…