Monday, February 20, 2012

Rock n Roll Pasadena Half Marathon Race Recap

Yesterday I ran the inaugural Rock n Roll Pasadena Half Marathon.
I wanted to redeem myself after Surf City.  I was very disappointed with how I did there.  I signed up for Pasadena just a week ago, a last minute decision.

This was my first Rock n Roll event.  I was not too sure about how I would like it after reading so many posts on the disaster that was the Las Vegas race.

But I needed to get Surf City out of my head and Pasadena is near where I live and I love that town so I took a chance.

Saturday we went to the Expo.  I thought it was great.  Super easy packet pick up.  People were very nice.  It was not was big and it was easy to go around and see all the booths.  Brooks was a sponsor and they had a nice boutique will lots of great stuff.
I got 2 t-shirts: one Brooks tech shirt, the race shirt and another t-shirt for the inaugural race that we could get if we signed up for another RnR race.

I signed up for this:

Halloween race on October 28.  They offered a $15 discount so I had to go for it!  Those are the shirts:
After the Expo I was feeling pretty good about this race.  Usually we drive the course but we did not have time so I just saw part of it. 

Saturday, I drank a lot of water and I tried to eat more than I usually do..not an easy thing to do for me.  I slept better than I did before Surf City also, being at home helps a lot.

Race Day
The weather was PERFECT.  I have zero complain.  It was cool...was not even 50 when we got to the race.  Bill was able to drop me at the start, at the ROSE BOWL, even though we had been told this would not be possible so that was great for me.  They had plenty of porta potty.  I have done several races at the Rose Bowl and it is a great place for pre and post race activities.  The start went perfect.  They had the corrals set up so that the first number on our bib was the corral number where we should line up.  Of course some people went in the wrong corrals...I don't really get that.  They had 10 corrals I was in the 6th.  They started on time and everything went really smootly.

I will not bore you with a mile by mile description of my race.
I was really surprised by how HILLY the course was.  I was not expecting this at all and after reading the comments on the Facebook page, I see that the majority of the runners were surprised as well.  This from my GARMIN:

I was feeling really  good for the first 8 miles, I knew the 2:15 pacer was behind me and I was a little worried about that because that is too fast for me, my PR was 2:24:05.  I kept telling myself  "don't panic..take it easy, ignore him, maybe he is confused and he is going to SLOW"

Crowd on the course was great, bands and cheerleaders and of course the supporters.  Before mile 5, I saw the winner flying by, on the opposite side of the road...I cheered for him, I am always so impressed to see the leaders and how fast they are.  Right after mile 5 I saw my family!  Elvis had passed right before me.

After that we went up hill....I felt it but I did not stop..I just looked down instead of up so the hill would not mess with my head!! :)

I did not think I would see my family again but they surprised me at mile 7 on a hard hilly part and I was so happy to see them, gave me a major boost.

Not long after that was a brutal section at the Colorado Bridge that locals calls The Suicide Bridge.  My pace dropped there and the 2:15 pacer passed me.  I told myself "It is OK he is not your goal."

I had a rough couple miles there but I was able to pick up the pace at mile 10 and I started feeling hopeful about getting a PR.  I knew I still had a difficult section ahead of me and I did not want to fall apart like I always do.  Mile 11-12.5 was no killed me.  After that my stomach who had been behaving pretty good decided it was DONE.  I was cussing and crying as I kept going... "Not that CRAP again, not today, you have got to be kidding me"  But the dry heaves was pretty bad.  I had to stop and walk many times.  My family was there at the finish but I never saw them.  Bill saw me walk,  I HATE that.  Here on these pictures I can see the finish more turn and it is there and you can see on the other picture that I am in pain..look at the fist on my right hand..and well my face says it all.

Here, getting to the finish I was in full dry heaves is embarrassing to do that in front of all the people lined up.  I was worried about throwing up...but I kept going the finish line was right there...

And then it happened.
I arrived on the mat.
In front of the pro photographer that is sitting on the chair.
And I puked.
Twice.  ON THE MAT.
It was not pretty.
I almost passed out.

It took everything I had to make it to the mat.
It was a shaky finish, not raising the arm up in the air.
I am sure I looked like a drunk person.
2 medics came to get me right away "Are you all right?"
hmmm really?? "NO!"
Thank God, Bill and the kids did not see me get sick...after Bill snapped those last pictures they headed to the end of the chute to meet me.
I went to the medic tent to get water and I was OK to walk on my own so I did not stay long, I did not want Bill to get worried and I was OK.
I felt better because I got sick I think.  All the other times that I got dry heaves I never got sick...I just had the painful cramping.
But I am forgetting the most important, it is that this time that pain was all WORTH it:
Brand new PR for me and I am so happy.  2 min and 48 sec better than my old one. 
I walked back to go meet my family.

(Wearing my Italian T-shirt )
Those are my splits

There were celebrities at the race:

Justin Chamber, Chandra Wilson and Kim Raver from Grey's Anatomy and New Kid on the Block Joey McIntyre.  First 2 went over 3:30.  Kim Raver was just over 2 hours and Joey M.  ran under 2 hours.

The band Sugar Ray was doing the entertainement after the race

I loved that race.  The course was much harder than I expected but it was a beautiful course, I really liked it.  My best 2 half marathons were on hilly courses and both on days that were cooler.   Yesterday I did not eat anything during the race.  I had honey stinger in my belt but decided to skip it to keep my stomach quiet, that worked for 11 miles.  I drank water only..not a lot, maybe that was a mistake..I am not sure.  I took one salt tablet.  I ran with my Brooks Ravenna, first race with those shoes. 

I am happy with how I did and now I get put SC behind me and move on.
I am very embarrassed by how it ended..the poor people who were around me, I appologize to all of you.

I will be back next year to do this race. I have zero complain about it.  They organized a GREAT event!!!


Kathy said...

Yay! PR despite all the gut issues! I know how much that sucks but how FANTASTIC that you pushed through! Soon you will have that perfect race where your gut will behave and you will just chop the minutes off! And who knew Joey McIntyre was a runner?? ;)

giraffy said...

Congratulations on sticking it out, and hooray new PR!!

I had no idea Joey McIntyre was running - that might have made me show up....

robinbb said...

Oh wow, where to start on my comments....

First of all, I LOVE your shirts. I am really jealous of those.

Second, congrats on the PR! I am so happy for you. You obviously worked incredibly hard for that time. I have only thrown up once after a race and it was a terrible terrible feeling. But wow, you really pushed yourself. Nice job.

Finally, so jealous of the celebrities running. I love Grey's Anatomy.

Oh and the Halloween half sounds so cool. :)

SupermomE12 said...

First, congrats again on the PR. SO sorry about the heaving and the puking. That just takes the fun right out of it. You were so tough though and did such a great job!!!! :) Love all the pics.

And thanks so much again for the book. I am REALLY enjoying reading it (and I LOVE the Perry paper. Perry is my favorite).

Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner said...

So sorry to hear about the issues at the end of the race (especially on the mat!) but congrats on a fantastic new PR!!

Michael said...

Congrats on the PR, although a hard way to earn it. I'm sorry you tend to get sick at the end of races, that's got to suck really bad! But you held on strong and finished strong! Way to go.

The RnR Halloween Half sounds awesome!! Great shirts too!

Jen said...

Congrats on your PR!! That's awesome - I'm sorry that you weren't feeling well :(

Colleen said...

Caroline... first, congrats on the PR! :) On a hilly course no less. You are a rock star!!!

So it's too weird that you get the dry heaves and in this case puked at the end of races. Do you think that it could be your nutrition throughout the race? Maybe the excitement of the anticipation that you are nearing the finish? Does this happen in training? You poor thing... you are such a fighter to keep going through all of this.

Love the shirts... and YAY for signing up for another in October!

Kayla said...

Congrats on the PR! Sorry about the puking :(

Jill said...

You got a PR on a hilly course puking half to death??? YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations, girl - you are awesome! Hope your tummy's feeling better by now!

Carla said...

Congrats on your PR but I'm so sorry you were so sick at the end. I will be interested to hear if you change anything nutrition-wise. I know I don't do well without enough fuel during a race. I hope you get it figured out before the next big event! Hugs to you.

And what sicko put in a big hill in the last mile?!

Pam said...

CONGRATULATIONS on your new PR! That's fantastic!

I'm so sorry that your gut acted up on you again. :( But you know if the photographer got a shot of you puking that will be the BEST FINISH LINE PHOTO EVER, right? hahaha

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

Damn, I am so impressed. Nice comeback run. Way to go.

Terzah said...

I am lucky comment number 14!

Congratulations again on the PR. I'm sorry you had to suffer for it, but the look on your face in those photos says it was all worth it. Hopefully next year you can skip the gut issues part of it.

Tricia said...

Congrats on the PR and holding it together while your stomach was falling apart. Super awesome!

Teamarcia said...

Congrats on the PR! What a finish! What a way to remember your first RnR!

bobbie said...

Awesome Job on the PR!! :) I would like to try out some RnR's also!

Patrick Mahoney said...

congrats on the PR, that's awesome! Check your email...

Black Knight said...

That is an important PR because of the hilly race. Congrats.
The pics are beautiful and you look fast. I see you smoked a lot of runners.
I thank you a lot for the pic with the italian t-shirt.
And now go for the next PB.

Crossfit said...

Awesome, it was an exciting race event. Thanks for sharing ! Congratulations to all the participants for a great job well done and looking forward always for more updates.

Annet said...

That bridge looks amazing (not in a good way)! Amazing job on the PR. I've been reading through some of your older posts to get a sense of your journey to half-marathon - and really enjoying some of your back story :)

Big Daddy Diesel said...

First congrats on the PR

And another Pukie, although you dont want any more of those.

Yo Momma Runs said...

Congrats on the PR! And sorry about the puking. I usually have problems at the other end, and either way, it stinks (ha!) for our bodies to not cooperate.

Christine said...

First of all CONGRATS!!! Huge PR even though you got sick, that is amazing and determination!! I'm so sorry you got so sick :(

Boston Bound Brunette said...

Congratulations! You did great in spite of the little issue in the end :( I wish I could have experienced it. Hopefully I will be there next year!

Lisa J said...

congrats on the PR- now the ever burning question--- whats next?

lindsay said...

Great photos!! Oh no about the puking! That or crapping my pants is my worst fear with running, lol. Congrats on the PR!

Nelly said...

It sounded like a great event! Congrats on the PR! Bummer again about the puking, I really have no idea why it seems to keep happening. Awesome about Kim Raver running too, I liked her when she was on 24 a while back. Cool post race music with Sugar Ray too!

RunningOnCoffee said...

Congrats on the new PR! I like the light blue race shirt with the rose on it. Also the LA Halloween half sounds cool. I just moved to the LA area last week. I'm signed up for the Great Race of Agoura hills on 3/24 but on the hunt for other races to sign up for (maybe this spring but probably for the fall).

Darlene said...

Congrats on thre PR - it was worth puking for!!

KJ said...

After seeing your pic on SR's blog I felt the urge to check out your blog. So glad I did since you have a bunch more pictures that are really good!

Way to go!! Puking and all... ;-)

bobbi said...

I'm so behind! Congrats on a hard fought PR - you should be WAY proud!

Elle said...

Way to go, Caroline. So happy for your PR and one day, not too far down the road, that puking story is going to be funny. I just know it!

Perhaps something more than water to drink for your halfs? You could practice on your long runs.

I wish you well in getting it figured out.

Neon Blonde Runner said...

CONGRATS lady friend, SO proud of you!!!!