Tag Archives: half marathon

Pasadena Recap: Doing a 180

Pre-race rendezvous

Pre-race rendezvous. Photo by Heather H-P on Feb 17, 2013.

My running peeps and I had a blast at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Pasadena. I made it to the Rose Bowl with plenty of time to spare before the race. After arrival I stayed in my car for warmth at least until the sun came up. I expected low temperatures for a mid-February early morning and as expected it was freezing out there! Not literally, but I’m not used to standing around in 40 degree weather. What I didn’t expect was to go from shivering to the runner’s high for the rest of the day.

Though my spirits were high my legs went on a hiatus immediately after I crossed the finish line soon after the race started and continued for the next few days.

View of the starting line.

View of the starting line from my vantage point.

They felt fine for the first couple of miles. Each mile marker I passed encouraged me to take my power-walking skills to the next level in order to finish. Just past mile 3 I felt a pull at my right knee which made me acutely aware of every step I took to mile 4 and beyond. My IT band pain had made a reappearance around mile 5, but not finishing this race was not in my thoughts. I had plenty of motivation and was in good spirits, enjoying the rock bands that played and the supporters that cheered us on.

By mile 6 I wondered whether I could make my 2:30 goal time. By mile 7 the 2:30 pacer had passed me while I was walking. Though I wanted to catch up I stayed at my current speed. I understood that trying to keep up with that pacer meant I wouldn’t be running my own race at my own pace. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from running training it is that. Being surrounded by many others in a race environment you are really only ever racing against yourself. 

By mile 9 (A.k.a. the part of the course with the lovely sugar bombs b.k.a. the gel stations) I couldn’t run more than about 5 steps before slowing  to a walk because of the pain. Even though running the rest of the way would mean I’d be finished sooner my leg was in no position to oblige. I finished at just over 2 hours and 46 minutes. Not terrible for 13.1 miles, but it was more than 15 minutes slower than I’d predicted. That said, it was a great course and I enjoyed my experience enough that I would do it again. Nothing says congratulations quite like a shiny medal, post-race snacks, and ice packs.

I am back to leaning toward doing more races this year. While I’m still in recovery mode I’ve signed up to volunteer at the LA Marathon next month. Who knows what I’ll end up registering for next?

Let’s do this: First rock ‘n’ roll half marathon

Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon Expo

Pasadena Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon (13.1 mi) registration and expo. Check.

Rock 'n' Roll swag

Expo participant haul. Oh, yeah.

Beauty rest… fat chance.

I am looking forward to the race tomorrow. I am not looking forward to getting up at zero dark thirty to get there by the recommended 5:45AM arrival time. If I want my eight hours of shut-eye, I have to go to sleep by 7:30PM. Not likely to happen tonight– or before any race day. If I did a race every month it might be different. This will be my first race in five months and my first half marathon in over a year, so the ‘waking up hourly in a panic that I’ve overslept’ thing is still alive and well. I will try not to trip and get trampled on — a real possibility since

1) I’m not going to sleep well tonight.

2) There are more than 10,000 other runners in this race (including the mini-marathon distance – 3.5 miles).

3) I’ve never run this particular race course.

4) There are bands playing. Seven of them (hooray)! I’m sure they won’t be distracting us from watching the road at all.

Fortunately, I think it’s a flat course. Live near the Rose Bowl or Caltech? Come cheer on the runners in this race benefitting Cure Mito! Are you one of the 10,000+ people signed up? Best of luck and don’t trample me see you at the finish line!

Make your own chibi, my racing future + mini-review: Boy Proof

Valentine's Day Chibi

Make your own chibi with this Chibi Maker!

Have you ever bought tickets or signed up months in advance for an event and right before it occurs something happens which prevents you from attending? That must have happened to me at some point in my formative years because since then I’ve been paranoid about that happening.

I’ve gotten a lot better at dealing with that over the last couple of years. What has helped immensely has been maintaining a racing calendar. I’ve signed up for and completed so many events with no issues so far!*

Sadly I’ve come to the very end of my scheduled races for 2013 and I’m now at a crossroads. A week from now I will run my 3rd half marathon, and beyond that I haven’t decided what I’ll do next. I have been debating whether to take a hiatus from triathlons this year and only do foot races or take a break from all racing with a plan to continue at some point — not necessarily this year. I do hope to stay motivated to continue after next week, but I’ll let you know how it goes.

*Let’s try to forget about the IT band issue that plagued my run during Tinker Bell half marathon last year, shall we?

Mini-review: Boy Proof

Boy Proof
Boy Proof by Cecil Castellucci
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Boy Proof had potential to be a great coming of age story about ‘invisible’ 16-year-old Victoria “Egg” Jurgen.

A few things I liked about it were the utilization of the setting (Los Angeles), the realistic portrayal of a teenaged sci-fi geek obsessed with a fandom, and the way the author showed how she channeled the feelings of exclusion by her peers into her artistic extra-curricular endeavors– from discussing sci-fi movies secrets to learning about the movie makeup and masking trade from her dad. I’d have given it four stars but I just didn’t care for the ending.

The story had been set up to give the reader an emotion-packed punch in the gut but ended with a pat on the head and a shove out the back door. I would have preferred a different outcome and this ending seemed tacked on.

Boy Proof is not a bad read but the ending doesn’t quite deliver the punch it promises.

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Running recovery + mini book review: The Hunger Pains

Today I’m wearing my Tinkerbell Half Marathon shirt so I figured I may as well make an update about it. I almost had a good race. Almost. Everything was fine and dandy except for one little thing. I found my knee area in pain 1/4 of the way through the course. It started off pain-free until I passed the 5K mark and then knee pain caused me to limp with each step forward. At the 10K mark I was thinking. “Ugh, I’ve gotta run this distance again to finish??” Knowing that I really had to run about a mile more than that distance again to finish.

I wasn’t even halfway and my knee hurt each time I bent my leg to run. I walked for a bit until it felt a little better. When running again it hurt again so I “speed-walked” mile 7. I attempted to run again in mile 8 and it wasn’t too bad! Until it was.

Mile 9 was my favorite. Still in pain while hobbling, but they had Clif Shots at that station and I was handed two: citrus and mocha. I ignored the world and focused on emptying my citrus-flavored shot and what do you know? I was at Mile 10! That one was long and when I saw that medical tent at mile 11, I contemplated stopping and ending my race.

But did I really want to quit at 11 out of 13 miles when I could continue and be done in about “20” more minutes? Longer than that really, but my base pace with no knee injury is a sub-ten minute mile. I pushed through and was able to run for another mile or so. I saw my friend from high school and chatted with her for a minute as we ran. I think I told her that I was in severe pain so not to let me slow her down. Then watched her zoom away as I slowed to a walk again and saw the people. All those lovely people who had woken up early to come and cheer us on.

The last part of mile 12 was full of well-meaning volunteers but it was so disappointing because they were incorrectly telling runners that the finish line was “just around the corner.” It wasn’t. It wasn’t even around the next corner. It was around the corner, down the street, around the next corner then into a driveway that went slightly uphill and around another curve. I kid you not. I didn’t care about the cameras or the people, or about racing runners just ahead of me to the finish line when I realized I was within sight of the finish. I wanted the race to be over. As I crossed the mat I didn’t try to finish strong when each step was so painful. Total Running Time (TRT) – 2:38. Watching a video later I was surprised to see that I had jogged at least the last few steps. That was the last time I moved that fast for days.

I was likely moving that fast only because I was focused on getting over to the med tent and sitting down. After a 20 minute stint on a bench with ice on my knee and then a long walk– let’s say, a mile, back to my car, I began the healing process. No idea why we were directed to park so far away. Somehow I was able to figure out a way to get out of my car to my bed with another ice pack. When I got home it was only about 10:30 in the morning. I had the rest of my day to sit, immobile.

That was weeks ago. Physically I’m almost 100% better. Mentally I’m still in a place where I am wary of signing up for any more long-distance foot races until I am sure that I will be able to do so without going reintroducing this painful knee issue again. I can’t know that I will be fine running another 13.1 miles anytime soon and I have mixed feelings about signing up for another half marathon even if 6 months away. I am leaning more toward sitting the next one out and focusing on something else. I know that I’ll never know what I’ll be able to accomplish until I try it, so I don’t know why I should let this thought stop me now. Besides, there is just over a week until the Nautica Malibu Triathlon registration opens…

Mini book review: The Hunger Pains

The Hunger Pains: A ParodyThe Hunger Pains: A Parody by The Harvard Lampoon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cheesy and hilarious, this story incorporates most of the plot points of “The Hunger Games” and a few of the ones from other books in the trilogy with blatant storyline commentary from the protagonist. It reminds me of the lighthearted spoof movies by the Wayans Bros., like “Scary Movie”, “Epic Movie”, “Date Movie”, etc.

Yes, many people think those movies are more stupid than funny, but I have to tell you that I don’t laugh out loud in real life from reading books that often, considering one of my favorite genres is dystopian youth fiction. I found myself guffawing several times while reading this.

View all my reviews

Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend!

Women Lead at Disney’s Inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon

I’m heading to the expo @ the Disneyland Hotel to pick up my reg pack in a bit. I have been doing training runs with a group for the last few months and in the last month or so I’ve noticed an acute pain in my leg on runs longer than 5K. I can feel my IT Band ache on the outside of my left knee while walking around today so I know I will have to run/walk the 13.1 mile race instead of running the whole time like I’d wanted.

It’s kind of a disappointment that I know I won’t beat my time from the Disneyland Half back in September, but I do get to greet the sunrise as I run through both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. It’s all good.

–edited to add–
Tinker Bell Half Marathon reg packet pick up

If you want to track my race progress sign up here to get updates.

If you missed the boat on this half marathon there is still time to sign up for the Disneyland Half Marathon in September. Hurry though. Even as it’s 6 months away the registration is already over halfway filled!

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