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:

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!)


Jeff H said...

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

Anonymous said...

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


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!