Feb. 17, 2013
As I walked towards the starting line, it was pretty cool to have the Rose Bowl stadium in the background. I’ve done plenty of half marathons, 18 to be exact, and it is one of my favorite distances to run. I was hoping to break the 1:45 mark, but anything faster than 1:50 would be a PR for me.
Thanks to a quick check of twitter before the start, I was able to send a quick message to Melissa, @mburton0214, who was doing the “mini marathon” because of injury. We wished each other luck and posed for a photo (as we stared directly into the sun).
I made my way to the corral and lined up with the 1:45 pace leader, Curt, @TherapyRunner. We joked that I had tweeted out that morning that I wanted to stay in bed and have someone push me 13.1 miles — I didn’t get any takers.
I’m going into greater detail with the first few miles because they set the tone for the entire race.
Mile 1: 8:13
Immediately felt uncomfortable. You know how some runs you just feel “sluggish?” Well, this was going to be one of them. The first few miles of a race always feels congested and people jockeying for position. Why do we do this? The weather was close to perfect at the start with a slight chill and clear skies.
Mile 2: 8:26
My breathing was off and I was feeling a pain in my side. Bad news for mile 2. I was already falling behind the pace group. At this point I’m already making excuses for why I won’t hit my time. Seriously. At mile 2 I was already thinking “how am I going to explain myself on twitter or in the recap on why I didn’t hit my splits.”
Mile 3: 8:05
The pace group was well in front of me, but within eyesight. Being a bit behind them opened up the space around me (which helped) and it didn’t feel as congested. I wanted to take a walk break, but I just kept running and trying to get closer to my sub-8 pace. Figured I would just keep running and take a walk break later.
Mile 4: 7:48
Mile 5: 7:29
Mile 6: 7:55
I finally settled into my pace. Still not caught up with the pace group, but using them as a guide to maintain my pace. At this point, I haven’t walked yet. (Except for a few seconds at a water stop to hydrate).
Mile 7: 7:46
Mile 8: 7:56
Mile 9: 8:18
Still making good time, but legs are feeling it. I’m able to hold my pace and keep in mind not to overexert myself on the inclines. The pace group is closer, but I’m still not caught up. They’ve helped keep me on track even though they are in front of me by a couple blocks.
Mile 10: 7:38
Mile 11: 7:53
Mile 12: 8:09
I’ve been running next to this guy dressed as a chicken? He is spray painted in yellow, has a yellow mohawk and making comments out of a plastic megaphone. He is funny and making me laugh. “You’re going the wrong way” he tells some people running the opposite direction. “C’mon, let’s go” as he waves on some spectators cheering to join him running. He kept me entertained as miles 11 and 12 were the toughest mentally. I knew we were close to the stadium and it was that feeling of “close” but not finished feeling.
Mile 13: 7:21
.1: 6:45 pace
I knew that the last mile was a slight decline into the finish line. If I picked up the pace, sub 1:45 was a possibility. I sped up, but not enough to gas myself the first half-mile. It felt good to pass some people on the final mile. I had just enough energy in the tank to finish strong. I had paced this race just right.
Half Marathon: 1:44:36 (7:59 avg. pace)
I never caught up to the 1:45 but saw them finish just in front of me. I chatted with Curt afterwards and thanked him for keeping me on pace. Even though I had only run the first half-mile with the group, I was able to keep my pace by keeping them in sight. That seems to work better for me then running in a pack.
It included trips through nice neighborhoods and routes through downtown. But it wasn’t giant-skyscraper-building kind of downtown. It had a small town feel that felt more like “main street.” It actually reminded me a lot of the Rock n Roll race in San Jose. Stamp of approval Pasadena. Nicely done.
Quick Version of the Recap:
Perfect weather. Uncomfortable from the start. Falls behind pacer. Enjoys wonderfully pleasant course. Keeps running with focus on consistency. Laughs at dude dressed as chicken(?). Finishes strong and sets a 6 minute PR.
I made sure to swing by the RNR booth to pick up a shirt (click here to see) for the First Lady. Since I set a PR, it seemed fitting to celebrate.
The headliner concert was Far East Movement and I was pretty excited about it. I dig their music and have both of their albums in constant rotation. The crowd was split between those near the stage and the beer garden. I decided to make my way towards the stage and was able to get reasonably close without feeling smashed in. We runners are so polite.
They set it off! It was high energy from the beginning and they were excited to be performing in their home town. The crowd was into it and although we had all just ran a race, the people there were enjoying the music. People were dancing, taking tons of photos, singing along and FEM did a great job of getting the crowd into it.
Oh ya, and I got to do THIS:
It was pretty cool. I’m a real fan of their music so it was neat to get to meet them. Don’t worry, that was not the clothes I ran in, so I wasn’t a stinky mess or anything. It was the perfect way to end the day. A PR, enjoying some music and kicking it with the band?
Ya, I could get used to this.
Save $10 on RnR in San Diego (June), San Jose (Oct.) and LA (Oct.): PAVEMENTRUNNER10
or Save $5 on the Mini Marathon — typically 3-5 miles: PAVEMENTRUNNER5
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