Two years ago today I wrote my very first post.
I started this blog to remember my journey to my first half marathon.
I never thought anyone would read anything I would write about running.
I never thought I would meet amazing people through my blog.
I never thought this little blog would lead me at the top of Mount Hood with a group of fantastic women (and some men also!).
I never thought I would be writing a race recap for my 12th half marathon 2 years later.
But here I am doing just that today.
I want to say thank you to everyone who read my posts, to all of you who commented in the last 2 years. To all of you who have supported me. To all of you who have become my friends.
Here I am with a dozen half marathons under my belt.
So RnR Los Angeles....
It was a GREAT race.
I have to say that I was not expecting that race to be so well organized because well...LA is a busy town.
We left the house at 5:30 am. Start was 7:30 am. I thought we would have plenty of time...even with traffic getting in Los Angeles. I was wrong. Traffic was pretty bad getting in. We were stuck at the exit to get to LA Live where Staples Center is and the start was. Good thing we know our way around a little, we got out of the lane and took the next exit instead of waiting longer. That was a good move because I read on Facebook that some people got stuck there a really long time and people were even getting out of their car to walk to the start from the freeway!!! Crazy!!!!!
Bill dropped me at the Staples Center and I went looking for the porta potty. I was expecting long lines....but no...they had plenty and no lines! I found my corral easily and I just waited. I saw Tiffany , one of my Hood to Coast teammate! She was in front of me and she snapped that picture while we were waiting:
Skyler Lane from last season of American Idol sang the National Anthem. I thought she did a great job!
The race started right on time. They did a great job with the start, going corral by corral and just enough time between each. At the start, we saw American running legend, Frank Shorter (he is tiny!) on the stage with the race announcers.
I saw Bill and the boys also at the start!
I will not bore you with a mile by mile recap. I liked the course. It had a couple loops...one taking us by the finish line around mile 6..that was a little hard mentally. There were a couple hills...nothing too crazy but one on a bridge going over the LA River that was a bit of a killer at mile 9. Lot's of people were walking going up.
I decided to start faster than I did for the Long Beach half and see how it goes.
The temperature was not hot but the sun came out early and it felt a lot warmer than it really was. We had planned that Bill and the kids would be at mile 6 because it is where the course goes by the finish line so that meant no need to move the car to see me on the course. I had prepared a 2nd handheld with water and salt tablets that Bill was supposed to give me at mile 6.
I did not save any water during the first 6 miles and I used all the salt tablets I had also. When I got to mile 6 I saw lots of people cheering the runners...I slowed down to look for my family and make sure they could see me. I was ahead of my normal 10k split but I knew that they were waiting since the start so I thought all was OK with the plan....well it was not. I did not see them... I kept going of course...thinking maybe they walked a little further to get away from the crowd. Mile 7 came...still no family. Then I knew that I would not see them. I had a little panic....That was a bummer. And my water bottle was almost empty and no more salt. CRAP CRAP CRAP.
The worst part is....
They were there.
Sitting on the curb...my Ninja and little Obi Wan Kenobi. I did not see them and they did not see me. :(
First time this happens. Lesson learned for me though. I will not rely on seeing them for sure during a race and count on getting new water and salt supply from Bill at mid course.
Good thing this race was so well organized. All the aid station had plenty of cups with water in them. All the volunteers were nice. The support on the course was fantastic also.
I don't use GU but I saw they had plenty of that as well.
Although I am not a huge fan of drinking water from the fire hydrants...I did because I would have been in a lot of trouble without any water for 6 miles in that sun.
I think it was around mile 7 that I saw the leaders going down the last stretch of the course. I saw Deena Kastor flying by (and wished Bill knew who she was to know to snap a couple pics). She ended up taking 2nd place in the women div.
So my stomach was not a fan of the race water...I started cramping at mile 10 I think. I knew that the last part would be easy going down..so I just kept repeating this in my head : "don't panic, don't puke".
I saw the finish
and then....well....a classic Caroline race ending.... dry heaves and puking.
A medic came to me and said my favorite line in these situations: "Are you OK?" All I want to say is "Do I look like I am OK?" but I don't say that because that would not be very nice and I know he just wanted to offer help.
It did not last long and I was OK to just go on and get my medal and all the stuff they had for us at the finish. They had plenty for the runners: Smoothie, Chocolate milk, bottled water, bagels, bananas, Marathon bars, Gatorade. Also the best thing: Cold wet towels! and then a few steps later, dry towels! I give them an A+ for post race organization.
Medal is nice:
I met with my family without any problems
I also saw Tiffany at the finish line.
As far as my time goes..I did OK.
(my watch match the mile marker right on the spot as I passed them, that has never happened to me before)
Not my best by far but a lot better than I did in Long Beach.
I am still not 100%. I did have pain in my groin in the last 4 miles but it was not as bad as it was in LB.
So overall I am happy with this race.
I am on my way back from this injury.
At least I hope I am...!