Monday, October 31, 2011

Flying Through LA - A Rock 'n Roll Race Report

 I came in to today's race ready for a good one. Magic Loopsterfest shirt? Check. Magic Kinvara shoes? Check. Magic Kara Goucher signed bib? Check. Fast course, good weather and solid training? Checks all around.
My goal was 7:30 pace, get under 1:38 and crush my 1:39:28 PR. DW and I took the metro train to the course, which saved us from the hassles and cost of parking and traffic. It was a great way to go. We got off the train, 1 block from the start. RNR had everything running smooth as usual. There were no bathroom lines! They probably had 200 port a pottys. I chose to go in corral 2, even though I was placed in corral 1. I wanted to  avoid a fast start. Here I am practicing my BP.

Warmed up a little in front of Staples Center. I'm already flying!

The start was great - uncrowded from the beginning. The first 6 miles were completely flat and I settled into a comfortable pace First mile 7:24. I kept trying to slow down but couldn't get any slower. I hoped for 7:45 for mile 1, but oh well. I was comfy.
Mile 2 was more of the same, 7:26. Mile 3 we circled the LA Coliseum. Every time we heard a good band, or got water, or saw the leaders go by, or got lots of cheering, which was often, I would speed up. I just couldn't get my pace down. Mile 3, 7:13. About here I decided that apparently my body did not want to run 7:30 pace, so I would just have to roll with it, and either flame out, or bust a really good time.
Miles 4, 5 and 6: 7:21, 7:18, 7:12 Still feeling good. Not sure if I could hold on, but the pace seemed reasonable. I noticed one guy was tracking me as I moved up in the field. Finally I started talking with him and we ran together for about 3 miles. It was helpful to keep me on track. There were lots of people in costume, which made for some nice diversions. How about this guy?

Here I am at mile 6 - I'm still flying!

After 6 miles we headed into the downtown tall buildings and a decent little hill. I think the buildings wreaked havoc on my Garmin because I ended up with 13.37 miles and I was hitting all the tangents. So the splits may be a little fast. Still, mile 7 was 7:17 uphill.
Then we turned on 3rd street and headed downhill and saw a tunnel. It was maybe 0.2 miles long and the entrance reminded me of an entrance to hell. I found this pic on line, but there are even more cracks now, so it looked like descending into a dark evil place.

It was fun to run through and the downhill was sweet, but I knew I would be coming back this way which meant a nasty little hill in mile 12. Mile 8, 6:48!
Mile 9 was 7:11 and I was still feeling pretty good, but holding back some for the miles and hills to come. In mile 10 we hit the 6th street Bridge. The pretty pic on the website shows the flat bridge, but on the other side, there is a steep hill to get up to it! It looked pretty nasty when I saw it, but I worked up it at about 8 minute pace, and finished mile 10 at 7:34.
Now we got to turn around and head back. The view was beautiful! The LA skyline, with mountains behind, and perfect blue sky. I was feeling good and shouted out "Beautiful" but got nothing from the runners nearby. So I passed them. I was passing runners the whole race, as I like to do. Cruised down from the bridge and did mile 11 in 7:07.
By now I knew I was getting my goal. I was over a minute ahead of schedule at the true mile marks, and did not feel a collapse imminent. I got back to the tunnel, and the hill did not look nearly as bad as I feared, especially compared to the hill I had just done at the bridge. So I cruised on up and started pushing the pace for the final push. Mile 12, 7:21.
We turned the corner and I saw a beautiful downhill road, 3/4 mile straight to the finish line. I opened it up and let the magic take me in. Mile 13 was 6:16, and another .37 at 5:52 pace!!! I had plenty left! Which just means I can push it a little harder in Philly. Here I am flying toward the finish. Check out that air! I don't think my feet touched the ground all day!

Official time: 1:35:37!!!!!
PR crushed by almost 4 minutes. Average pace 7:18. Confidence gained, priceless.
Caught up with this guy, who ran 1:33!

So yeah, very, very happy with this one.

1 comment:

  1. Outstanding!! I wish I were wicked fast like you. Then your "About Me" section lays it all out --- lifer who is fast.

    Great pics too! I like the pic to Hell, but the floating pics are sweeter.