I came down with a cold on Weds that got worse not better by Thursday (I still have it too!) so I ended up taking Friday off work to sleep and relax and was able to actually get work done from home! I ended up going to the grocery store because I was craving fruit and then was able to get organized and eat lunch before heading out to Agoura Hills around noon. The drive took about an hour and I went to the Expo right away!
just as small and efficient as last year. I was able to park at the community center and was in and out in about 10 minutes. Picking up my bib had no wait and same with picking up my shirt. And score because the shirts were tech material this year!
I stopped by all the booths and was able to pick up my free bottle of Kool n Fit, fruit snacks samples from Dole and won a free water bottle from Cheesecake Factory!
One thing I love about this Expo is that they give you a bag full of goodies and flyers so the expo is smaller and there is no one bothering you about taking a flyer for your race-you already have them all!
I went to the room and unpacked and got everything ready for the race. I then was able to do work (I had a presentation to make) and also some homework before Devin and Brian arrived and we went to the club lounge to get snacks before dinner.
Since I was sick, it was still hard for me to breathe and sleep so I got up twice to take meds and blow my nose but I still got 7 hours of sleep.
We got up at 5:30 and got ready and head downstairs at 6:15 to catch the 6:20 shuttle and made it to the start line by 6:30. It was a bit chilly so I was glad I brought a long sleeve shirt. We walked around the outdoor expo, took a pic, saw Sean Astin head over to the corrals for the half, and able to use the portopotty. The half started at 7 and we were able to see people start which is always fun! However there were many late people and the sweeper kept having to lead people back to the start line so they could start the race. This is also why I was so grateful for the shuttle-traffic and parking is hard (as its all street and strip mall parking) and the start is uphill so you definitely don't want to have to deal with that.
the race starts on a downhill which is nice but it can be crowded as its through a neighborhood and there are still cars parked on the road.
Since I was sick, I figured I will go on feel and try not to over exert myself and try to keep the first few miles around 10:30 or so and then speed up.
One thing I did was wear compression socks. My calves and shins have been pretty tight since the marathon and I thought it would help during the race. And it definitely did! I plan on wearing compressions more often during my runs because I felt great.
The first mile I finished right around 10:00. Oops-faster than I had planned however since a lot of it was downhill I took advantage of it.
The water stops are a major issue at this race. They are usually only one table on one side of the road which causes a big build up of people and causes a slow down. Even having people on both sides would help with congestion.
After mile 1 you head towards where you finish before heading back into farmlands. It's kinda mean to run by the finish line so close to the beginning but it was nice to know its a big loop and I'm done.
This is where I noticed the hills were rolling a bit and I was trying not to over exert myself.
Before I knew it, we were turning towards the farm lands, gorgeous hills and horses!
At the half way mark, I started taking a clif shot until I hit the water stop. It was a bit warmer than I would have liked but I was trying stay steady.
Mile 4.5 is where the hills come alive and the first one was a doozy. I decided that I would try to do as much of the hills as I could but would stop once I felt I was exerting too much energy. I made it up about 10 steps and decided to walk the rest to save energy. I am glad I did because I was able to get up the next few hills.
After leaving the neighborhood it becomes a mini trail race. I walked over the rocks because I didn't want to fall and ran as much as I could. Leaving the trail there were more rocks so I walked those too as I didn't want to twist my ankle.
The finish ends in grass so I wanted to be careful not to trip but I was able over that last 80 sec to keep a 6:56 pace! That is really crazy.
I've very happy with my PR on the course especially with me being sick and feeling I couldn't breathe going up the hills. My legs felt a little tighter than I would have liked, all things considered I'm very proud of my time.
It is only about 4 minutes slower than my PR (58:05), which was set on a flat and pretty cool morning.
compared to the epic food of last year, I felt a bit let down but I definitely had enough food to satisfy myself.
- Starbucks coffee
- Dole fruit cups
- Dole pineapple juice
- Dole fruit packs
- electrolyte green tea
- Refreshing berry drink
- Vegan chikin chili
- Apples, oranges, clementines from sprouts
- Power bars
- Kind bars
- Other samples
However next year I will be upgrading to the Equinox Pacific Half Marathon as I've always wanted to do it and it was rated the top half marathon in the entire USA by active.com. It's very hilly (an uphill of over 400 feet) but if I really want to get better on hills, I need to do more races with hills!
What's the last 10k you ran?