Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Rolled and I Rocked! L.A. RNR Pikermi Report

I don't know why I still get so nervous for every race. After over 200 of these, you would think I would get a little nonchalant. But no, I was waking up every hour the night before. Had the queasy stomach. Ugh. But it's all part of the deal. I love racing! 
Goal today was to run a strong 13 miles and prove I have the endurance. I told myself to get under 1:45 which is almost exactly 8 minute miles. I wanted to start easy, maybe 8:20-8:30, then get down to 8 minute miles and finish strong under 8. The course is net downhill, with a few steep hills, but the last 3 miles mostly downhill. Felt pretty confident going in. Like this guy.

Out of the house at 5:15. Here was the sunrise view as I boarded a shuttle bus at 6.

The organization for this race was awesome! Everything ran smoothly. There were hundreds of port a potties, so reasonable lines. 20 corrals helped separate the runners by time, so I had no poky walkers to dodge around. The finish area was huge and ran smoothly. Parking was easy. Shuttle buses to the start worked fine. Kudos to RNR!
So mile 1 is downhill. I'm trying to relax, and I kept it to 7:49. A little quick, but not bad. Mile 2 was 7:51, so I had apparently "found" my comfort zone. Then miles 3-4 were more downhill at 7:37, 7:41. Oh boy, I am banking some time here! I'm kicking myself a little because it feels close to 10K pace, and there is a LONG way to go. I try to slow down, but oh it is so hard! The sun came out here and I started to feel tired in mile 5. Tired, already!? What have I done?! I kind of figured it would be a tough last 5 miles at this point. And then I felt a blister starting up under my toe. Shoot Feathers!
And then we hit the first of several good size hills. Maintain effort, I tell myself. Just keep it steady. Pace goes up over 8 on the hills, but there are many downhills too, so it evens out. Miles 5,6, 7 were 7:50, 7:50, 7:52. Strangely as I go over the hills I start to feel stronger. Mile 8 I got my confidence back. Oh, I was hurting, but I still had forward momentum, and was passing people, and had the feeling I was going to make it. By now I thought sub 1:45 was in the bag unless I bonked, and 1:44 was likely as well! Maybe even under 1:43! Mile 8 - 7:37!
One 1/2 mile long hill at mile 9 was the worst, but I was maintaining pretty well and I knew the last 3 were downhill so I kept pushing. I had run this course two years ago, but it is slightly different now, so what was mile 12 is now mile 10. Two years ago, once I crested the last hill it was a short downhill to the finish, but this year there was still almost 3 miles to go. Ugh! Miles 9 and 10 were 7:42 and 7:52. Nasty short steep hill at 10.5, which 2 years ago brought me to a walk, but I trotted over it and regathered my oxygen for the finish. I was flailing my arms and banzai-ing down a long steep hill here and knew I just had to cruise it in, but my body was not very happy with me! Mile 11 in 7:54.
In mile 12 they throw in one more nasty hill amidst all the downhill, but I still had enough to get over it in good form and head to the finish. Then it was just holding on and saying, you got this, just keep it going. I matched up with one guy who helped me push the pace a bit for about a mile, and i pulled away from him in the end. Big crowds at the finish made for a great wall of noise and I cruised into victory. Mile 12 was 7:53. Mile 13 was 7:35, and the last .23 was at 7:03 pace! Total time 1:42:41! Woo Hoo! It's Banana time!

Here I am at mile 12.5, wearing the colors.

The blister didn't turn out to be too bad - just an annoyance. I'm pretty wiped out, but very happy with the race! On to Marshall!
Here I am with Smiley.


  1. No way, you still get so nervous you feel like puking before a race? Oh gosh, there's no hope for me then...

    Sometimes when I'm running I realize how much I love downhills and hate the uphills, and I remember that you did a total downhill pikermi a while ago (Fontana?) and I'm jealous.

    That's one cool dog there - and what a beautiful sunrise!

    "No porky walkers"? What? Someone needs a clip round the earhole for that one! =P~~

    Holy cow, you went under 8m/m on all that! OH my GOSH!!!!

    EEEK!!! I *KNEW* there'd be a pic of Alice! YAY! Dang that woman is osom.

    Where's the pic of the blister?

    Have you found the blogs of the faaabulous loopsters? There's a gazillion of them.

  2. I said "POKY" walkers not porky. I'm not that mean. Usually.

  3. THE SHIRT!!!
    If I end up mysteriously dead in an alley somewhere, and shortly thereafter the shirt disappears from my possession, tell the FBI to start the suspect list with Loopsters... probably those who joined the Loop after you reached celebrity status (whenever that was).