Saturday, April 16, 2011

Western Pacific Half Marathon

Thank you for doing the right thing and choosing to say that I looked better in those prom dresses in my 20's than I did in high school.  You would all make excellent boyfriends ;)

So I ran a cute li'l 13.1 today, and I am content with the knowledge that any running that happens this weekend is destined to be overshadowed by the big event, Boston.

Running, Not in Boston

I've never had an interest in signing up for Boston, because it is so far away (read: expensive) and so crowded (read: earrrlly wake up call).

After today, I finally learned the appeal of huge crowds.  And the misery of a small, emptier race.

Oh it really wasn't miserable -- the race directors did a fab job.  I just mentally cracked with boredom. 

The race was smaller than any I've ever run, with 268 halfers and a handful of marathoners, 10k-ers, and 5-kers.

Let's cut to the chase and get the stats out of the way:

1:32:50, 13.4 miles (to be further discussed...this time the extra 0.3 really threw me off ) 6:55 avg garmin pace, 7:05 chip pace.

2nd place woman, 7th place person of 268, 1st place in division.

I love the motion you can sense from this image -- and you can see the edge of a smile because I just passed my incredible team of support, cutie-pie-panini + our friends Spencer & Elka

Today's race was a minor struggle.

My legs felt great -- my hamstring is fine.  But I couldn't muster up the motivation to run any faster in the midst of a flat, repetitive, lonely course.

Ultimately, it was a blessing in disguise.  My body feels fantastic right now -- I feel like I could go on an afternoon run -- so I expect to feel fine long before Eugene in two weeks.

I thank Fremont for the boring straight path and the lack of cheerers for helping me take it easy today.

Still Running, Not in Boston

Lessons Learned:

1) a HUGE part of racing is INFLUENCED by the cheering and motivation you receive from those supporting from the sidelines, and the fast runners at your side.  Today, there were very very few cheerleaders, and I was by myself for a large span of time (miles 7-13) and couldn't convince my brain to go for it.

2) Flat  I'll run on a treadmill if I want that.

3) I need to cool down the pre-race sugar.  I had a bunch of gummy chews, sips of red bull, cherry juice, half a lava gel (courtesy of hauterunningmama).  Sugar overdose led to an early side-stitch.

4) I. Need. Music.  I neeeeed music!!!  The boredom was deafening.  I will definitely bring my ipod to Eugene.

5) I need to strengthen and stretch my hips to whatever degree possible during the next two weeks.  Today and during the Oakland half, I noticed that around mile 10 my left hip starts to get a little angry.

The other common pain I have noticed (this race and the US Half in SF) was in my left shoulder.  Don't know how to fix that or avoid it...

Why The 13.4 Hurt Me

Let me have my moment of whining.  I learned my lesson that Garmin's aren't always accurate, but I will start by sharing this picture, which tells a lot about how I felt during that 0.4:

I'm at 13.3, saying to panini "What's happening, did I miss a turn!?!"

Story: my Garmin was aligned perfectly throughout the race.  At every mile marker, my Garmin also struck a mile mark within several seconds.  At the 13th mile marker, my Garmin read 13 miles.  So I started the ole homestretch sprint.

AND THEN.  the end.  Never.  Seemed. to come.

I suspect the race directors just wanted the halfers, the full marathoners, the 5k-ers and the 10k-ers to run the same homestretch and didn't really care about how long it was.  Well it was 0.4 miles.

After over a minute of kicking into high gear for that 0.1, I slowed it up and began to sulk and growl.  This was a bummer way to end the race.

**Edited to Add:  I just got an e-mail from the race directors explaining that there was an additional 0.2 miles or more added to the end due to some last minute changes which were necessary, as the lake water levels had risen wiping out part of the old course.  


Mile 1: 6:35
Mile 2: 6:34
Mile 3: 6:45
Mile 4: 6:56
Mile 5: 6:54
Mile 6: 6:52
Mile 7: 6:57
Mile 8: 7:02
Mile 9: 7:00
Mile 10: 7:04
Mile 11: 7:17 (aw, what?!)
Mile 12: 6:59
Mile 13: 7:04
Mile 0.4:  2:46 (6:52 pace)

Garmin Avg. Pace of 6:55, chip avg pace of 7:05 based on 13.1 miles.

And here's a smorgasbord of other pictures.

Not my alcohol monitor...the timing chip was an anklet

Panini got a lot of ass shots for some reason...

blurry butt

Mile 3


  1. Ahhhh I love the still shot pictures all in a row, that is WAY TOO COOL. I suddenly think sean may need a new camera to capture the same sort of shots. Infinitely jealous that you ran this weekend and that you have an awesome camera. And hey, even if the race sucked, at least you looked cute in all your pics!

  2. Great running shots! Oddly enough, I'm the opposite. I love the empty races (that's why I sign up for trail races preferably) and can push myself better in the solitude.

  3. Nice job on your race!! You are going to crush your marathon goal in Eugene!!

    Do you always drink Red Bull before a race? My boyfriend does, but I just wimp out. Red Bull doesn't give me wings, it gives me shakes and an incredibly fast heart beat.

  4. You are speedy!

    I ran a marathon last month with NO crowd support and NO headphones allowed. By mile 22 I was talking to myself. Did I mention only 170 people ran? Every race will seem easier than that :)

  5. congrats on your speedy race! It always sucks when they don't map out the course to be a true distance. You look great in all the photos :)

  6. Your pictures are great! I would have gotten annoyed at the long finish, too, but at least you didn't need your map! So glad the hamstring is cooperating :)

  7. way to go. i kept thinking about you yesterday and was wondering how you were doing. Good job!

  8. You won your division?? Where's the pics of your trophy?? I am super proud of you/jealous/hoping you are not creeped out that a random stranger is "proud of you"!I totally agree, this is why I prefer big races! I am running a half marathon similar to that in 2 weeks, hopefully I can handle it....

  9. Panini isn't the only one who likes looking at your butt.

  10. Firstly, congrats on 2nd overall woman, that's huge!

    Sounds like you raced smart. Didn't kill yourself, so you'll still have some legs left for Eugene.

    And by the way, excellent muscle definition in your photos!

  11. hey crazy fast a$$ no music? I would shoot myself...that would be worse than any chinese torture...unless it's an ipod full of ME singing. BTW so linked to my blog on one of my WORST posts! hhahaha


    Do you do speed work? I'm running a half May PR is 1:35...I'd love to shave a couple minutes off. Any advice?? THX!! :)

    You're going to do great in Eugene!! :)

  13. You totally killed it- and an added .3?!?! You are un-freaking-believable girl! Smokin fast!

    The pics turned out great. It looks like you were cruising...with a smile!!

    Can't wait for you kick some arse at Eugene!!

  14. Congrats on the awesome race! Your legs look amazing.

    Did you get your cute shirt from Target? I saw a compression shirt that exact shade of pink in the athletic clothing section, but I'm waiting for it to go on sale.

  15. I love that I can attest to how well you did in this race, considering I saw you just a few hours after and you were chipper enough to go fabric shopping which is something that most people normally wouldn't be "chipper" about, having just run a half-marathon or not. You seriously continue to amaze me, and I am in awe of your skillz. That's right, skillz. With a Z.

    Heart you!

  16. Wow! Another fantastic time!!! 6:55 pace is so SPEEDY!!! I bet you would have run faster too if you weren't running by yourself.. that must have been tough!! Congrats to you! Glad it went well and the hamstring was good! I think you're ready to ROCK Eugene!

  17. you're so fast! Hopefully one day I'll be just as fast. FYI, I learn a lot reading your blog, I find I learn a lot more through running blogs than running articles.

    2nd is good, VERY GOOD :)

    ~ H

  18. Awesome race! And I gotta say as a running nut, that you seem to have perfect running form =) Slightly leaning forward, you don't seem to heel strike, and you seem to always be powering forward!

    And to add to the question party - did you run track or cross country in high school? If you had been on my cross country or track team, you would have been far and away the #1 girl on the team, and probably would have won a lot of events and maybe even gone to the State Cross Country meet, or done really well in the 2 mile.

  19. Shoulders, hip ow ies might have something to do with foot alignment. You might benefit with some prosthetics. Again talk to Jason Karp at

  20. Great race! And way to place overall and your AG!

    And thanks for the honesty on the boredom. I struggle with that too. I am targeting a marathon on 5/15 and wonder if I will survive on the lonely course with no spectators. Hmm. Seems stupid to even try ;)

    And thank heavens the race director fessed up to the long course!

  21. Holy shiz!! YOU KILLED IT and on such a boring course. DAAAAAMN. Nice Fremont for that matter ;)


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