Today was race day! This race experience was so different from my half marathon last month. Speaking of, I can’t believe that I ran my first race in early December and it’s still not been two months since then. While Run to Remember is in it’s 12th year in Boston, this was the inaugural race in LA. They had quite a few hiccups, but overall it was a great experience.
I was super excited for the runner’s expo. I had so much fun wandering the one in San Antonio and had high expectations. This was prior to realizing that this was a first year race. B and I went together after both of our work days ended and I was pretty disappointed. There wasn’t much there to see and the set up was poorly done. Probably the most irritating part was while they asked for t-shirt sizes during registration, they just gave out whatever people asked for when they showed up. So, by the time we could make it, they were out of the sizes we had requested.
After the disappointing expo, we walked over to our favorite dinner spot in Little Tokyo, a doner place named Spitz. We fell in love with doner sandwiches in Germany, and this place serves the best ones we’ve had since leaving. We take advantage of going every time we’re in the downtown area.
The race morning started way too early. B stayed up all night, because he’s found his best runs are after a night of work. I napped from midnight to four am and it was brutal getting up that early. The parking garage didn’t open until 0530 and that started the worst part of the day. We made it to the race area by 0545 and sat waiting to turn right for half an hour, when we were less than half a block from the turn. There was only one entrance to the parking garage, and for a first responder race, there was absolutely no traffic control. We did eventually get parked, found out that they weren’t handing out the parking tickets as promised, and decided to deal with that after the race.
We lined up and after twenty minutes of speeches or so and an awesome helicopter flyover, we were off. B took off, as he does, and I tried to remind myself not to run too fast. That’s really not easy to do. But, during my half marathon, I started at a pace that left me without enough to finish the race strong and I didn’t want to do the same thing. Still, even with settling myself down, I found it hard to slow down to my planned eleven minute mile pace. In fact, I never actually made it there. My splits were 10:13, 10:49 (see, I tried to slow down, also there was a hill here), 10:43 (this mile saw me seeing B on his way back in and enter into Paramount Studios), 10:28, 10:34, and 10:11. I ran the race I wanted, with a faster second half of the race. I will say that running through Paramount was by far the best part of the race. They had a memorial wall set up, a red carpet area complete with volunteer paparazzi, and it was just a neat experience.
The last two miles were an exercise in will power. I wanted to slow down. But, I refused to let myself. I stuck with the people I had found and kept lying to myself. I told myself repeatedly that I could slow down at the next turn, and then I would try and speed up instead. Sprinting into the finish line was amazing. B was waiting for me after I got my medal and that was so much fun. He finished in 43:52 in his first ever race, which has clinched his spot on his work’s relay team for a March race. I finished in 1:05:(02/25 depending on whether you trust my app or the chip time more) which was a four and a half (to five) minute PR for me.
I really felt like my training paid off this time around. I’ve started running significantly faster in the last couple of weeks. I’m excited to see the improvements with continued training.
Post race we went to brunch with some friends, which is pretty much the best way to cap off a race. I’m really hoping that B will keep with the running with me, because I like the idea of visiting different cities to explore and hit up races together. It’s a lot of fun to be the couple that races together.