Monday, May 21, 2007

Palos Verdes Half Marathon!

On Saturday, I ran in the Palos Verdes Half Marathon, on the palos verdes peninsula of west LA. This was my first half marathon, and I was treating this as a training event for Vineman, which is 2 months and 2 days from now. My buddy Nelson was running it with me, and girlfriend Nafiseh was out there supporting us. Going in, I was a little intimidated about distance, but since I wasn’t really racing it I, all I cared about was just finishing the thing.

It was a beautiful overcast morning in the upper 50’s/lower 60’s – perfect running weather. The PV Half is considered a “hilly” half, boasting 1200 ft in elevation gain – with 2 very substantial hills coupled with constant rolling hills. The scenery and landscape was a bit reminiscent of the Pacific Grove Triathlon. Here is someone’s GPS reading of the course: http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/2772357

My game plan was to take it easy during the first half – go out at about 75%-80%, and then really push it coming back. I wanted to take it easy in the beginning so that I wouldn’t be burnt out and walking like many were doing at around miles 10-12.Fortunately, everything went according to plan. I hit the turn around at just under 1:03, and new it was game time. I also knew that I had a lot of climbing to do going back to the finish line, so finishing under 2 hours would be a fun goal. I took a gel after the turn around, and really hit my stride right at the bottom of the 2 mile hill.

I felt really good going up the ascent, and started passing a lot of people. The hill seemed like it never ended, but once I got to the top, I knew that there were a few rollers before the major downhill, and flat after that, so I started picking up the pace. I was making mental notes on the “out” where to start dropping the hammer, and things were progressing nicely. I hit the downhill, and me and one dude started going back and forth. I had enough of this, and started running at about 10K pace. I hit about mile 11 (so, 2.1 miles to go), and was amazed at the amount of people that were barely running, or walking. I am thinking to myself “C’mon people!”. After witnessing another half mile of this, I just started egging people on as I was passing them – “C’mon!” “Pick it up!” “let’s go”. Some people followed, others probably cursed me in their heads. Nearing the finish line, it was an all out sprint, finishing just under 1:56 (by my watch).
Check out a video of me finishing:



I had an unofficial goal of finishing under 2 hours, but I was really happy with was my descending splits: 1:03 going out, 53 coming back, never feeling like I pushed too hard, and knowing I had more in the tank afterwards. Granted the weather conditions at PV are a far cry from what vineman is going to throw at me, but I mentally feel a lot more confident about the half marathon distance.

Afterwards, Nelson and I hit a beach in LBC, and passed out for a few hours, and then swam a mile @ 2nd st and bayshore in Long Beach. It is a bay with a section roped off for swimmers. It was nice because I really felt safe since it was in a bay, and only in 15 ft of water. The cold water felt absolutely incredible on the muscles.

We made our way home later that afternoon, and I rested up to be resident photographer for the Encinitas Triathlon the next day (more to come!)

4 comments:

Jeff H said...

Nice kick at the end big dog...woof.

Anonymous said...

congrats DenDen. Next time I'll run with ya!

j

Jake said...

Nice race recap. That's actually my GPS log you linked to. Looks like I held you off by about a minute or so. Funny enough, i didn't notice many people walking or jogging at the finish. I picked up my pace the last 3 miles (7:45/7:45/8:20), and while I was passing people, it was always tough to overtake them. I was flying past people on the big hill at mile 11, though, as I just run all-out on down hills.

Good luck with your tri!

Troy Gorostiza said...

Congrats bro, that is a great time!