Monday, October 25, 2010

Rock and Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon Race Report

Time: 1:39:16 – An automatic PR!!
Place: 393/ 9641 Overall, 58/ 569 AG
Pace: 7:35
Distance (via Garmin): 1.5 miles – more on the stupid Garmin later

Kinfolk said Jed move away from there / Said Californy is the place you ought to be / So they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly. / Hills, that is / Swimmin pools, movie stars.

I've been to Los Angeles before. The last time I was here I played a small part in Kathy Griffin's "My Life on the D List" was laid up with my stupid stress fracture.  In fact, I hadn't even yet been diagnosed with the stress fracture so I went on a 2 mile test run on the treadmill and limped around Hollywood for the rest of the day.  This time, however, I was NOT injured and I was here to race.

After a solid 22 hours in my own house (22 hours in the last 3 weeks *sigh*), on Friday I got on yet another plane and headed to LA.  I've found that there are two types of people who spend a lot of time in hotels: Hookers and Consultants.  Depending on your interaction, you may feel like you're getting screwed over by both of us.  But, process alignment aside, we both seem to always stay in the Presidential suites in hotels:

Don't hate the player, hate the game


Saturday my wife and I mostly relaxed with some people watching and lunch eating at a local farmers market.  I "carbo loaded" with a chicken sandwich and french fries and molested the local produce.

**Insert inappropriate innuendo or bowel movement joke here**
(Sometimes they are just TOO easy)


My wife and I then headed to the expo.  Since this was my first ever half marathon, I wasn't sure what to expect at the expo.  As is usually the case, the Rock and Roll group didn't let me down.  The expo was probably on the larger side  Maybe just a touch bigger than the Denver marathon the week before.  The best part?  The Miller girls had beer!

Drinking out of tiny cups require just a tiny pit of extended pinky

I had been tweeting back and forth with the southern California Brooks "Guru" in the days before the race and we had planned to meet up in the Brooks booth to prove that neither of us were creepers.  I can only assume that she was sorely disappointed with learning that I indeed WAS a creeper - but I LOVE my Brooks shoes which hopefully made up for it.  Follow me on twitter here and follow her on twitter there.  I chatted her up for a while and my stalking social media mastery was rewarded with a sweet long sleeve Brooks polo/jacket.

Yep, she is tall and I am short.  Fail.
And she knows more about running shoes than me.  DOUBLE FAIL!


Finally, I was able to take my picture with my "Super 6" Heavy Medal.  Since this was my 6th Rock and Roll race this year I get all sorts of extra medals.  More details on this in a later post.


Race morning was just like any other race morning.  I rode the shuttles, got to the starting line way too early.  I'm not sure WHY I think that I need to get to the starting line 90 minutes early, but I do almost every time.  Annoying.  Since this was a half marathon instead of a full marathon, I decided to run with my Nathan handheld 20oz water bottle.  Unfortunately, I drank through about half of it before the race even started!!  This meant I had to pee, bad.  BUT, Jen the Brooks Guru set me up with sweet VIP bathroom passes so I pee-danced my way over to those just before the start.

Yep, a stranger took this picture


VIP on the inside:



Shortly there after, just as the sun was coming up through the clouds the race started and we were off.  I wanted to run approximately 8 minute miles that would put me towards a 1:45 finish.  The first mile and a half were right on target if not a little slower than anticipated.  I believe that I was closer to 8:30ish pace.

However, around mile 1.5 my Garmin started freaking out.  It was beeping every 2 seconds or so (literally).  It took me a bit to figure out what the deal was, but it turned out its memory was completely full.  When I sync it with my computer, it downloads the data off of the watch but doesn't delete it off of the watch.  It took me a few minutes to figure out how to delete the data (while running), but eventually I did figure it out and the watch finally shut up. Success!! Unfortunately, during me pushing every button on the watch I must have somehow shut off the GPS - because it didn't work for the remainder of the race.  Bummer.

That meant that I had to run the race by feel only checking my mile splits at the mile with the lap button on my watch.  The first few miles were on track around 8:15, but the rather hilly, surprisingly humid course turned downhill around a third of the way through so I ran way too many miles at sub 7:30 pace.  Good during a race, bad during a training run.

Running by feel is interesting like that.  I feel like I don't have enough experience running a hilly course by feel alone - so I'll probably work to shut out my garmin more often and head to the hills.

Very cool to see this along the course


As I finished, I got my medal and was overcome by a bit of sadness.  Since my wife is around 13 months pregnant (don't tell her doctor she flew 2 weeks past the "ok" period) she didn't make it down to the finish line.  Additionally, not that I am SUPER fast, but there were not a ton of people around meeting up with their families.  I later realized that when I finish marathons in 3 1/2 hours, the 10,000 or so half marathoners are mostly finished.  So, I get to stagger and stumble around all of them trying to find my cheering crew.

When I was able to make a bee-line to the free MGD 64, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I LOVE the crowds of people after finishing a marathon. I love the joy that they all beam after completing what is likely something that they will tell their friends and family for years to come.

So, that is probably my key takeaway from running the half marathon.  As mostly a marathoner, it took me running a half marathon to realize that I really appreciate the half-marathoners and the huge crowds they bring.

But, no worries about me. Just like the Yankee's post season hopes, any dip in my mood is always short lived.  I downed 64 calories of beer faster than any man should and made another bee-line to the hotel room - were my wife was waiting!

Tastes like loneliness


Overall, I really liked the half-marathon distance.  I'll look to do one again as my marathon training slows down, I need a break from the 40+ mile weeks, and I need another test of my marathon fitness.

44 comments:

C2Iowa said...

Outstanding job!!! I loved this post. You have now set the bar for me.... I want to qualify for the NYC half for 2012. Nice work and great pics (as always).

Kovas Palubinskas said...

I can't believe you ran 6 events and all you got was that lousy medal. Score on the Brooks jacket, though, I love my Nightlife!

Andrew Opala said...

so you had an equipment malfunction ... I still don't get how you can drink that beer?

Cal never drank that c**p - just whole milk - and he never swore or made pee-pee jokes. I know these things to be true!

James said...

Man that sounds like a good time. Congrats!

Luke said...

Great job!!! I still want to be you when I grow up!

Luke said...

Great job!!! I still want to be you when I grow up!

RunningLaur said...

awwwww.

and stupid garmin. clear that thing off once and a while! (guess i need to go do that RIGHT NOW)

Laura B. Jog for Joubert Syndrome said...

nice!!! great pictures as usual....new medals, presidential suite, VIP bathroom pass....pimpin' ain't easy

funderson said...

Congrats on your first 1/2! and thanks for the VIP bathroom pics..very worth it..

Runners Fuel said...

Awesome job! Congrats on the PR!! Love the pics!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

kudos on the PR.
I'm not a hooker, so I guess I too must be a consultant
I loooooove teh brooks VIP seriously is it sad that might be my favorite part of Seattle?

Chad said...

Pee Are!
That porta potty was totally pimp.

Emz said...

YAY on the PR.
Love the pictures.

loving the VIP dump stations.

Nobel4Lit said...

Hotels are awesome!

Congrats on the auto-PR!

Adrienne said...

VIP port a pots! You are a baller. Congrats on a speedy race and I found your sentimental realization that you missed your wife at the finish very endearing :)

kilax said...

Great job! I cannot wait to hear more about the "6" medal. And it's still crazy to me that this is your first half!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Still can't believe after all these marathons, this is your first half! Great job!

Pam said...

In my most twangy, coutry voice: "There's a tear in my beer..."

Dr. TriRunner said...

Hate to tell ya buddy, but you probably consumed closer to 85 calories. A bottle is (or should be) 12 oz, and that I'm pretty sure is a 16. oz glass.

(64 calories / 12 oz) x (16 oz) = 85.33 calories.

Hope those extra 20 didn't make you go off your diet. ;)

CONGRATS on the PR, automatic or not. Great race!

EricaH said...

Congrats on your newest PR. :) Great pictures but your know I am going to give you crap because I don't see a shot of that pretty medal of yours.

Also you better be in the presidential suite having your wife travel all over the U.S at the least she should be super comfortable. :)

Julie said...

Way to go Adam! Nice time:) I am loving the pictures....you always look so freaking happy! I love that about you:) Nice job on your ver first half marathon!

Alma said...

Nice run! Love the pick with your super 6 medal and the red-devil eyes :)

Her Name is Rio said...

Congrats on your PR!
Your wife is such a trooper being there for your races!

oakley said...

Your amazing...

Congratulations..

Book Worm Runs said...

Love the pictures!! That bathroom hook up was sweet :o) Congrats on your first half and awesome job!!

Steel Springs said...

Very enjoyable race recap. It sounds fun!

Johann said...

Well done, great run! Like the way you worked yourself into getting a Brooks jacket. It's weird in a cool way that you haven't done half marathons before. I've run 383 half marathons.:)

Spike said...

excellent job and awesome PR. Automatic or not, still an awesome time.

Ironman By Thirty said...

Great race!

#1 - At least with a hooker, the worst thing you are going to get is an STD - zing!

#2 - Was that customized Brooks TP in the VIP bathroom?

Jenn said...

Great race report!! You are too funny. Love this blog and congrats on the PR!

chris mcpeake said...

great job. Loved the report

GeorgiaSnail said...

your wife is 13 months pregnant? Wow!

Say...if you are R&Ring through the 50 states, does that mean R&R Savannah may land on your schedule for Nov of 2011?

Morgan said...

Great job buddy! As always you seem to make the most out of every race.

BrianFlash said...

I love running halves as training runs. Why not have a nice training run supported by 10,000 people?

Great job - I'd love a 1:39 half!

Glenn Jones said...

Wow. Presidential Suites and VIP porta potties. Remind me to hang around with you!

Ace said...

Well done on the VIP Porta Potty race report. Also, good job on the running thing.

Chris K said...

Nice job Adam. Just about top 10% of your A.G.

pajamachef said...

what garmin do you have? i'm in the market and thinking about the 305. any recommendations?

Zaneta said...

great job!! you are so speedy! :)

Stacie said...

Congrats!!! I'm so jealous of the VIP Potty :) Love the pics and your blog.

Laura said...

Why does the shirt say "run through all 50 states"? They don't have RnR in all 50 states. I am confused.

Congrats on the "PR" :)

Anonymous said...

Hey, I can't view your site properly within Opera, I actually hope you look into fixing this.

Shelly said...

FAIL! On two accounts. One - you promised to tell about "all the extra medals" for the R'n'R events. Two - No photo of the LA medal. Geez!

Great job on the half!!!!

5 Miles 2 Empty said...

Awesome review!! So sad to be lonely at the end. I know the feeling...I did 9 halves during one of my husbands deployments and all I wanted was for him to be at the finish line. He never was. jerk. Just kidding...he's not a jerk.