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Monday, May 17, 2010

Palos Verdes Marathon Recap

This is my 7th marathon this year and 63th marathon overall

I have ran this challenging rolling hills course since 2006, the only reasons that I always coming back to run this are the challenge and the low price entry fee, it's onlt $65 on race day, cant beat that!!! Below are the times for the past 5 years.

2006 - 4:31.10
2007 - 4:34.40
2008 - 4:32.56
2009 - 3:59.56 ( MY FIRST SUB 4!! they said this isnt a PR course, well I did PRed it! )
2010 - 4:14.12

Carbo Load Dinner

Since I had to work till 10pm the night before, I settled for the chinese noodle at this Chinese fast food place close to my work around 7pm. I was a bit tired after work so I went straight to bed after work.

Race Day

I woke up at around 3:30am, took a shower and left my house around 4:30am, then stopped by the gas station to get some Gatorade for the race. Then after a short half hour drive, I finally arrived in San Pedro, I parked at the huge parking lot right next to the start/finish area around 5:15am, there were already a lot of cars parked in the lot already and it started to fill up as it getting close to race start at 7am.

Around 5:45am, I started walking toward the registration area and sign up for the race, I actually had to fill up one of those scranton sheet that we used to use back in high school, it was kind of fun filling up all those bubbles on the form. =-) Then I walked to the next table to pay my $65 entry fee, talking about cheap marathon price!!!

I signed up on race day and it's only $65!! cant beat that!!

After I picked up my bib, I saw Emil and Marci walking toward me, so we chatted a little bit, then we saw more familiar Maniacs faces coming in, it's kind of funny that we always see each other at our local races, look like we are stalking each other or something. lol

At around 6:30am, I went back to my truck to get everything ready for the race, my Garmin, my armsleeves, my bottle, my barely won new shoes which I just bought a week ago, they are the exact same model that I accidently left on the Amtrak train a few weeks ago when I was running the Ragnar Relay SoCal. I was able to find the same shoes at my local Big 5.

Less than about 10 mins before the race start, I did my final stretches by the curb, the runners were already getting ready to run, it was a small race, only about 344 runners doing the full but over 1,000 running the half, what a different.

One funny thing happened just moment before we start, after the national anthem, I wanted to have a pic with 2 or 3 other Maniacs, I didnt want to gather all the Maniacs cuz I dont want to be blocking other runners in the way, BUT as soon as other Manaics saw us getting together, they just jumped in, I was kind of shocked but glad that they joined in so we could have a group shot just before the start.

Last Maniac group pic before the start.

Once the race started, I tried to get into my comfortable pace, my goal was to finish under 4 hours like last year, so I tried to maintain around 9 min/mile pace, but I didnt know how to run slow so I ended up running between 8:30 to 9:00 pace early on, I forgot to set my Garmin back to AUTOLAP and I didnt want to mess with it while running, plus I also forgot to hit the Lap button at every mile marker, so I didnt have my split time recorded. =-(

This guy carried the flag for the whole race

After a little more than 1 mile, our first challenge was this long stretch uphill that we had to face, since I have been running this race for the past 5 years, I was very familiar with this hill, so I just took it slow and slowly jogged to the top. The only thing I love about this hill was when I am on my way back, it's all downhill so I could just cruise it down without any efforts. I skipped the water station on top of the hill since I already carried my own bottle the volunteers were great, they were really helpful.

My pace was still around 8:30/min, I knew I was running too fast but I felt I was comfortable with that pace, I wasnt catching my breath or anything so I just continue on with that pace and kept going. When we were running on the road, I chose to run on the dirt road on the sidewalk since it gives me less impact on my knees.

This was one of a few rolling hills on the course

another hill coming up after Mile 6.

After around Mile 14 turnaround, I saw a few of my running friends were making their way toward the turnaround point

Christy was kind enough to pose for a pic before her turn around.

Saw Christy again on the turnaround.

Saw Jessica on my way back, she almost ran to the wrong way.
On my way back, I ran into Jessica and Yolanda.

glad to see Yolanda on the way back.

After Mile 18 when I knew that I wont be able to make it under 4 hours, I kind of gave up and decided to slow down, it was over 3 hours that time and I knew I wont make it, maybe I was underestimated myself or maybe if I had my split time with me, I might try to make it.

Then around Mile 24, my friend Christy caught up behind me while I was walking, so I decided to run with her and see how long I could keep up with her, we ran down this long downhill which was an uphill when we started after Mile 1, there was some headwind while we ran down that stretch but it felt really good at that time. We continued to run with each other until I wanted to stop at the Mile 25 marker to take my walking break and also fix my cramping on my right calf.

Christy caught up to me around Mile 24 and I was able to hang on with her till the end, I finished only 20 seconds behind her.
With 1 mile to go, I could see her in a distance and I tried to get closer to her as much as I could. I did some run/walk whenever I could, then after I passed the Mile 26 marker, I started to run and crossed the finish line in 4:14.12.

After I checked the results, she was only 20 seconds ahead of me, she definitely gave me a boost the last 2 miles.

After the race, I picked up my t-shirt, grab some oranges, bananas, Myoflex drink, free coffee from don Francisco, free chair massage and just hung out and watched other runners finishes. I can't wait to do it again next year!!

Ward, Nadia, me and Andrea after the race, Nadia and Andrea both 3rd place in their age group!!

Group shot!! both ladies won 3rd in their AG. Well done Nadia and Andrea!!

Barefoot Todd

Barefoot Todd looking strong toward the finish line.

Next Race.................. Memorial Day Half Marathon in Laguna Hill, 5-31-10