Monday, December 12, 2011

LA Holiday Half Marathon Race Recap

Ho Ho Ho!!!!I am still in shock at how this one went down.  I swear I have been checking the race results at least 20 times to make sure they are not changing.  Still the same this morning, it was not a dream.

OK so this was half marathon #5 for me.  17th and last race for this year.
The weather was COLD..no no not just California cold, cold for real: 41 degrees.  Bill dropped me as close to the entry of the Fairplex as possible and I walked to the start alone.  We had decided that it was best for Bill and the kids to skip the start and just find a spot along the course to see me.  I got really cold while waiting for a mandatory bathroom (real ones! A+) and for the start. 

There were a lot of kids running that race, they were from this great group called Student Running LA.  The mission of Students Run LA is to challenge at-risk secondary students to experience the benefits of goal-setting, character development, adult mentoring and improved health by providing them with a truly life-changing experience: The training for and completion of the Honda LA Marathon. You can check their website here.

OK back to my race.  This course was HARD.  The most difficult I have ran so far.  Very HILLY.  Not just rolling hills.  The first 2 miles and the last 2 were flat.  That's it.  I had seen the elevation chart, I knew it would be hard.  I told Bill I would not PR and that I hoped to finish between 2:30 and 2:45 and I said if I go over 2:45 I will be in the worst mood and you may want to get a hotel room to avoid being around me!!! 

First 2 miles were on the Fairplex ground (home of the Los Angeles county Fair), to exit we ran on the drag race track, that was pretty cool, they had a band there.  That is where I saw the kids the first time. I am in the white hat, in the middle.




After that we ran near an airport and headed towards Bonelli Park.  That is where all the hills were.  For me, running hills is hard.  My strategy was keep steady pace for the rolling ones and run-walk the big ones, that's when I drank. I carried my own water and I skipped all the water stations.  They had plenty of those along course for those who needed them.  I looked at my Garmin at mile 6 and I realized that I was way ahead of what I thought would be my split there.  I started thinking that maybe I could break 2:30 after all.  That gave me a huge boost.  I still had hills ahead, I knew that around 7 or 8 there would be a big one.  I kept telling myself just get to 11 after that you are good to go. At mile 10 I started to feel tired and showing signs of dehydration.  I knew I was headed towards trouble, I tried drinking NUUN..that gave me major Acid Reflux....I tried water...that was a little better but I was close to getting a pukie....I  was also on my way to getting a PR.  I knew it would be close and now I wanted to get it.  I started to think of numbers...how much could I afford to suck and still get my PR.  That is how bad I was feeling.  At mile 12 a huge surprise: Bill and the kids! I had no clue they would be there, I told Bill to be at the finish NO MATTER WHAT.  When I saw them there I thought the finish line was too crowded.  People were lined up for the last mile.  THAT was so nice!
I look like a giant next to the others!



As soon as I turned the corner....I had to stop....I got sick..I did not want the kids to see me like that.  (They didn't)

One more mile to go.  I had almost nothing left.  Thank God for the people cheering on the runners! And at the finish there they were: Bill and the boys!!! I was just about the walk when I saw them and no way I am walking in front of my kids.




I crossed the finish...(that is not my time...I started at the back of the pack)

And then... I collapsed

Some guy came just in time to catch me and put me in a wheel chair. AGAIN. 
Major DEHYDRATION.
I did not stay in it long.  Bill came to get me and I went to get a banana and water.
I looked at my GARMIN, I never stopped it. CRAP.
Bill said "You did great you crossed way before 2:30!"...I wanted to know if I had crossed before 2:26 xx.  My PR was 2:26:39.  I would have to wait to see the results online later.

I was feeling like crap.  Darn stomach.  I had lost a lot of salt again.  I did take salt tablets during the race but my NUUN bottles were still almost full.  Not good.  My water bottle was empty. See the salt on my face...hard to see I guess...but near the nose..on the freckles..

I got a pretty snowflake medal!


I was so cold there...good thing I had packed some clothes to change...in this very stylish outfit..that's right Life is Good pj pants with Canadian flags!


They had this really cool trains exhibit there

We went back home, I was not feeling good at all.  Could not eat for at least 6 hours.  I had to lay down for 2 hours.  When I got up I went to look for the results....and they were up...
I started looking for my name around 2:25xx hoping to see it there...no
Then I looked around 2:26, still no, 2:27.still no.  On the picture Bill took the clock says 2:27xx so I thought they don't have my results, I did not touch the mat...
I typed my bib # to look it up and I saw that I did touch the mat. 
2:24:05That is my time.  2 min 34 sec PR.  I could not believe it.  It made all the pain and feeling like crap so worth it

Merry Running Christmas to me!
I am so happy, saved my best race of the year for last!

Still time to enter my GIVEAWAY

Also had to include this......
EMZ: Look what I got today:
Sports Illustrated: Best Magazine ever....clearly they can recognize GREATNESS






45 comments:

Kristin @NyceLife said...

Wow, awesome, congratulations!! Sorry you felt bad, but you kicked that race's BUTT!!

Kate said...

HURRAY!! Awesome job! You are getting soooo much stronger! To PR on a tough course like that?? Fantastic!! When you get this dehydration thing in check you're going to be unstoppable! :) And your line no way was I going to walk in front of my kids...you know they have to be sooo proud of their mom.

Pam said...

WAHOO!!!!!!!!! Way to go, Caro! Congratulations on your PR! And on such a hard course, too!

abbi said...

Congrats on your PR - tough course, feeling rough and all!

bobbi said...

You are a ROCKSTAR!! Congrats!!

RockStarTri said...

Good stuff, Speedy. Well done!

Kayla said...

Congrats on an awesome race!!!

Tricia said...

Oh how fantastic! I really admire how you push through with the stomach/dehydration issues. What a great race report to read.

Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner said...

Congrats on an amazing PR - especially on such a hilly course!!
:)

giraffy said...

Congrats, congrats!!!

Emz said...

Ok. Ok. Ok first 2:24!!! Awesome!
Freaking awesome.
2nd-ok 2:24 holy freaking awesome!!
Fine 3....ya ya ya got my SI four-yes four days ago. Uggggg

Boston Bound Brunette said...

Great job!! I'm sorry you had such a bad time out there but you finished and that's what matters!! PRing is a great feeling and on such a hilly course!! Woo hoo!!

SupermomE12 said...

Congrats! You ROCKED it! Now you just have to figure out how to keep drinking while you run so you can enjoy yourself and feel good.

Merry Christmas and enjoy the PR! :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your PR that is awesome!

Julie16750 said...

Congrats!!!! Those hills were brutal. Way to go!!

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

Way to go! Who PRs in December? Awesome.

Troop 559 said...

Congratulations! What a great accomplishment!

J. L. said...

Congratulations!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats on the PR on a tough course!!!!

Carrie said...

Congrats! What a great race. I'm sorry you were so sick. Awesome time. It looks like a great race, maybe I will see you there next year!

Jill said...

Holy smokes, girl - that is FANTASTIC!!! Congratulations on a fabulous PR! Sorry that you got so dehydrated again but glad you rebounded quicker this time :). Merry Christmas PR girl!!!

Jill said...

Holy smokes, girl - that is FANTASTIC!!! Congratulations on a fabulous PR! Sorry that you got so dehydrated again but glad you rebounded quicker this time :). Merry Christmas PR girl!!!

Laima said...

Congrats on an awesome race and PR!

Nancy said...

Congrats on our PR!! That is an amazing! It was a hilly tough course, and I felt like collapsing at the end too! I think they should re name the race "Holiday Hill Half".

Patrick Mahoney said...

That's really great. Bonelli park is a tough place to run so that 2:24:05 is an absolute smash of a PR.

Hunnybee said...

Congrats on the Awesome PR! Love your after pants.

{lifeasa}RunningMom said...

Awesome job and way to stick to it!

Laura said...

Sorry it was so rough....but a huge PR! Congrats!!

middleagedrunner said...

Nice nice job! What a huge PR- puking pit stop and all... Congrats, what an awesome way to wrap up your year. :-)

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

Congrats on the PR!!! What a great accomplishment!

Nelly said...

Congrats on the PR! Awesome!

Sounds like the race went great except for the dehydration at the end. I could see the salt on your face, that is not good. Since you said that you took salt tablets, maybe take even more? And I guess try to consistently take your NUUN? Not sure what else to suggest so that you don't get dehydrated again.

That medal is pretty cool!

I saw Coach K on the cover of SI and thought of you, haha Both of them are deserving of the award, especially Coach Summit who I think has early stage dementia I think. Both fantastic coaches.

Jen said...

Caroline! Congrats on a great PR!! Wow that is super!

The medal is a beauty too :)

Sorry that you weren't feeling well - but you're right, a good PR makes it all worth it.

Terzah said...

See what cold weather can do for you??? Congratulations! What a great Christmas gift to yourself, and hard-won. I love the PJ pants too. I hope you are still walking on air, my friend.

Madison said...

Congratulations on your PR!! I think it is always an amazing feeling to see that we did better than we thought. You had a very good race photographer by the way. I always have to rely on on the race photogs.

girlsthatrun said...

Woo congrats on the PR!! That's seriously awesome! I can't imagine not feeling well during a race... way to rock it! The hills were definitely brutal and I've never been so happy to see flat land as I was in those last 2 miles. The crowd support at mile 12 is what pulled me through too! Again, BIG congrats!!

Kate said...

I'd call you the hill queen. Seriously, the only reason I had a PR that size is that the conditions last year were RIDICULOUS. Ankle deep mud. Literally.

P.S. Did you notice who wasn't featured in my race report? Surprise, surprise.

Christine said...

First of all, CONGRATS!!! Oh man, you truly deserve your PR!! You are hardcore, take care of yourself and get some rest

Anne said...

First...Congrats on hanging in there and doing such a great job!! Wow! You really need to figure out how to hydrate better...I have a feeling you will be even faster if you figure that out!

Second, I think you need to give back your Québec membership card ;) ...really cold?!?! You must not remember what really cold is like ma belle :)

Anne said...

BTW...I just reread my comment and I don't want to be misunderstood. I know you've been trying so many things to get the hydration under control...I just mean, I hope somehow you find something that works :)

Nicole said...

Christmas cards went out today for Group Cookie! :)

Darlene said...

Woo Hoo! Congrats on the PR. My coldest and hilliest was mine too. Go figure!

XL said...

This is SO awesome, Caroline! I am so totally happy for you :) What an amazing Christmas gift to yourself :) Congrats on your huge PR!

Black Knight said...

Congrats for your new PR. You improve and get faster day after day. Brava

Glenn Jones said...

Congrats on your PR! Out of curiosity - do you hydrate and use Nuun on your training runs? If not, you should use your longer training runs to get that all dialed in.

Also, I remember the model trains when I used to go to the County Fair. And that was in the 60's. Like 1960's. LOL!

RoseRunner said...

way to go! Get the dehydration problems fixed next time and you'll knock another few minutes off -- especially on a less hilly course. PR!!! yay!