Monday, January 16, 2012

13.1 Los Angeles Race Recap

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Yesterday I ran the 13.1 Los Angeles Half Marathon in Venice Beach.
This race was not planned for me, I was lucky and I won a free entry for this one.
It was just 3 weeks before Surf City so at first I had decided not to do 2 half marathons so close to each other but I will not turn down a free entry so of course I did it!

Saturday we went to Venice Beach to pick up the race packet.  It was at a gym, no Expo, very simple.  I got my bib and a nice tech shirt. 





If you read my previous post you already know that I dedicated my race to Sherry Arnold.  I pinned the bib I mad with her picture on my back.  Thank you to everyone who joined me, I know Terzah did in Houston.  She got a 6 min Marathon PR! Congrats Terzah!

The start was at 7 am so that meant getting up pretty early.  I got up with major sinus congestion so that sucked.  Allergies are back and meds are not working great. When we got there we decided to have Bill drop me not too far from the beach and that he and the kids would not come to the start, it was too crazy around the starting area.  So I went looking for the porta potty and found huge lines that were not moving and also cars trying to park in the middle of all those lines.  That was the PREMIUM parking.  CRAZY.

I made it to the start right on time but at the back but that is OK.  The race started 15 minutes late, I don't know why.  We started on the beach and had lots of homeless people lined up to watch the runners pass.  The weather was perfect for me.  Overcast and in the low 40s.

First 5 miles went fine, I was going faster than I should have and convinced myself that I could hold this pace for 13 miles.  Since this one was a "practice race" for Surf City, I thought I would see if I can, how else can I know if I don't TRY? Around mile 5.5 I saw my family and I tossed my gloves and armsleves to the kids.




Not long after that I started feeling a sharp pain on my pinky toe, like I had a cut or something.  I ignored it for a while but it was not going away and got worst.  I had to stop to take a look. My nail was broken but was still attached to the toe.  The broken part was pocking the side of my toe and that was causing me that pain.  I "cut" the nail off and got back on the course.  Waste of precious time :(.  I had checked my nails the night before like I always do and all looked fine to me after the toe inspection.

After mile 6 we got off the beach and back on the road.  That part was not flat but not terrible.  I was still feeling OK.  At around mile 9 or 10 we pass the sewer plant.  You read that right.  I don't get it.  Why do they have the course go there?  The smell was AWFUL.  My stomach is the worst as you know, it can barely tolerate food.  Now sewer smell....yeah not so much.  I tried to hold my breath, that did not work of course and only gave me stupid side ache.  The turn around point was not far from there so I knew we would pass the plant TWICE.  Crap. Second time I went in full dry heaves mode.  I had to stop for a second to get things to calm down.  After that I could not take anything to drink and I had to walk a few times because of dry heaving.  I know lots of people have complained about the sewer and I hope they will change the course for next year.  This was the first year that they had the course go in the area.
Finally the end came.


I thought about Sherry a lot during this race.  This woman I have never met, this woman I will never forget.

So no PR, one nail intervention and 2 sewer interactions does not lead to a Caro PR (or PW!).  It is OK.  I am happy I did this one.  I would do it again if the course changes. This was a smaller race, about 3000 runners, and I like those better than the huge ones, the people were nice, the weather perfect and check the medal, the 13.1 spins:


Good thing I had packed a warm jacket and hat for after because I was FREEZING!




6 Half Marathons done for me in less than a year! I need a Medal Hanger for these!


This one was for you, Sherry Arnold, I hope that you are peace and that you did not suffer.


26 comments:

Carla said...

Oh my gosh--the sewer plant twice?! That is cruel! Great job on your race though. I love the dedication on your back. And your hubby takes great photos.

Amy @ Juice Boxes + Crayolas said...

Congrats on another great race! You definitely should treat yourself to a medal hanger!

And seriously, a sewer plant?? TWICE??? Whose brilliant idea was that??

robinbb said...

Congrats on another completed marathon. I love that medal.

Becky said...

That medal is amazing! I can't believe they had your run past a sewer plant--that is just ridiculous.

Thank you so much for sharing Sherry's story, and running the race in her memory. I know she has touched so many of us runners and she won't be forgotten.

Boston Bound Brunette said...

Looking great out there! Sorry about the smelly part of the race X2! See you at Surf City...if I make it there!

Kayla said...

Congrats on another good race and on 6 half marathons in under a year! Great job!

Tricia said...

Yuck on the sewer plant -- I can only imagine how awful. But congrats on finishing the race! The beach part looks very nice.

Patrick Mahoney said...

Great report. I know of the waste treatment plant, have done a race there before as well. Pretty gross.

Hope your toenail doesn't cause you too much trouble in the run up to SC...

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

Great report. I hope Sherry didn't suffer too. Thought about her a lot this weekend, and refused to do my long run alone yesterday...

I love how you decided to push it at the beginning. This was the perfect "race" to try something new to see how it felt. Sorry about your toe and the sewage plant. Your free t-shirt and medal are quite nice!

Michelle said...

Love the shirt! Loved most of the course you showed until you mentioned the "plant". Blech! Who DOES that? Shame on the race organizers!
Great job plugging through and LOVE that you dedicated this to Sherry.

misszippy said...

I love that you did this in Sherry's honor. You carried a piece of her with you.

I had to laugh out loud about the sewer plant. I mean, really? Funny.

Congrats on your 6th 1/2!

Kate said...

Wow, Caroline, you look AMAZING in those pictures. So weird about the toenail thing, especially after you checked them. And the sewer plant?? Really? What were they thinking.

I love that you pushed yourself there to see if you could hold it. You're getting so tough. And...doesn't sound like fueling issues/dehydration this time. Awesome!

Jill said...

Congratulations on #6...sometimes it's just an accomplishment to finish and a PR doesn't really matter! So touching you ran for Sherry, I am sure her spirit was there running with you! Too bad she didn't warn you ahead of time about the sewer and tell ya to plug your nose ;).

The race shirt is really cool, I would definitely wear that one (I have many I won't - haha) and the medal is pretty. Yes, you DO need a medal hanger, it's only going to get fuller as the year progresses :).

btw, my friend's boyfriend WON the whole race (Moses something) - pretty cool!

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

I bet that sewer plant was nasty!

wonder what the deal with your toenail was, what a freak thing to come up

Great job and I live that you ran for Sherry.

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

Sewer plant?! That beats all!

Elle said...

Congrats on your finish, tough as it may have been. #6 in the can! Awesome and how nice that you ran in Sherry's honor too...

It has been years since I was at Venice Beach and I hadn't realized there was a smelly sewer plant so close.

Carrie said...

The sewer plant? That's awful. So yucky. It does look like it would have been fun to run down Venice beach. It was a bit chilly this weekend.

How wonderful to run in Sherry's memory. She's been on my mind so much lately.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats on the race and the Pukie

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

Congratulations on your 6th half marathon!! Boo to the sewer plant though! And, dedicating the race to Sherry was such a thoughtful gesture.

and, you should check out my blog :)

Terzah said...

Your pictures were wonderful as always--I love your race recaps. I DON'T love dry heaves and sewer plants on race courses, though.

Thank you for the bib again!!! My race report is coming up and I think one of my friends actually got a shot where you can see it.

Cotter Crunch said...

well the fact that you ran this in honor of sherry helps take your mind off the sewer, yes?
But really, what an honor to race for her. So special.

Christine said...

Great job!!!

Colleen said...

Way to go girl - I couldn't have handled the seweage... that would have been the end of me! :) And what a great tribute race for Sherry!

Laima said...

Congrats on number 6! I am pretty sensitive to smells - probably would have made me dry heave also, both times around tho:(

Nice dedication to Sherry...

Coy Martinez said...

Congratulations!! I ran a half this year that took us past a sewer spot and it was HORRIBLE. We were all dry heaving. I have no idea why race directors think people are ok with this??

Glad you made it through the race and happy you ran for Sherry. She represents all of us that are just out for a run and wanna come home.

Black Knight said...

Congrats for the tribute and the half marathon.
Beautiful pictures, the hug between the kids is priceless.
I was in Venice Beach 12 years ago, a beautiful place.