A nice shorter race report for Lexus Laceup Riverside Half marathon.
This was my first race in California. I was excited and still super nervous. I was more so nervous about the results than the distance as usual. I had not been able to run like I had wanted to after finishing Ironman 70.3 Los Cabos. I had twinged my Sciatic nerve in a 5K I randomly did (and PRed), and took on periformis syndrome, which made my right side hurt down to my foot. On top of that, I had a weird outer left ankle pain that started right before Los Cabos, but went away for the half ironman race, and soon came back after the race when I tried to run. I had been babying it and KT taping, and icing when I could. A week before Riverside, I felt better and did a test run. I managed to keep a high 9 min/mi pace with Shana for 6 miles. This was not very good news for trying to PR my race (10:20 average pace to beat). I knew I would have two chances to PR on two back-to-back weekends, so I kept my chin up even if the first race went badly, I had a 2nd chance.
I packed, and off I went, flying out of Madison on Saturday afternoon. Two long flights and not a lot of movement, although I tried on the 2nd flight to be better and did small floor exercises in my seat. I was afraid my legs and feet would swell up too much on the flights for me to run properly the next morning. I arrived and was picked up quickly. I had a spicy fast food asian dinner and was set! I spent the rest of the night hydrating and played a little Dance dance revolution at the Round 1 arcade nearby.
Ended up going to sleep around 1am PST, haha which is 3am CST! whoops.
We woke up at about 5am and rushed to get ready, knowing we didn’t have much time to mess around before the race started at 7am (why so early California?!). It was about a 40 minute drive, we parked and got our race packets. WOW it was chilly! I was really not well prepared to be in mid 40 degree weather. At least it was clear and (soon would be when it rose) sunny. I got to meet Sarah Presley while I was at it! Lining up for the race seemed so casual, like just a fun race, not racing a race, if that makes sense.
The national anthem played out and we were on our way. Alex was pushing me from step one. And a few more steps after step one, it was all uphill haha. What a great warm up (although we did job to and from the car where it was parked). We soon ended up on a bike path, very nice! The aid stations were much closer than they said on the race site, not complaining there. Nutrition was at every other aid station or so and had Clif gels and chews, and Nuun electrolytes. Pretty nice since I had trained with those things throughout this year. I was aiming to test the first 4 miles as a warm up and analyze what to do from there. But no. That was not the case. First mile was 8:54. ah. 2nd mile. 8:52. Seriously? SLOW DOWN! I tried. 3rd mile, 9:11, ok well that’s a little better? I was aiming for more of 9:50-10:00 pace for the first 4 miles and speed up. Mile 5 hit, and I noticed even if I did a 10:00 pace for mile 6, I would PR my 10k time. I haven’t really run an official 10k race, but I do keep track of the times I hit 10k in practice. I got a PR of 56:35, beating my previous of 59:52 by a lot. I killed it, and in a half marathon?! This is all thanks to Alex for pushing me. I could also see my breath for a majority of the race it was so cold!!
Half way there. I felt oddly fine with the lower 9 min/mi pace, which had never happened before. Mile 6, 9:07; mile 7, 9:08. I have no idea what came over me. Mile 8 is usually where I start having issues with pace and pushing myself. Well expected! Pace dropped off a little, but still going strong. Mile 10 came (and MAN those mile markers were DEAD on with my watch, like within a foot!), and 5k left to go. Alex started struggling, so I thought I’d repay the favor from earlier and push her forward now. It’s so much harder when you’ve already gone this far. I told her, and I keep saying it, I’d rather finish together, this was our race, and I was going to PR it no matter what (my previous PR was 2:15:01). I could have pushed so much harder in the last 5k, but I do not leave friends behind. The race would have lost its meaning to me. Hugs happened, gentle encouraging words, and a lot of “lasts” countdowns from 1 mile to 1km. Then of course by the last 0.1 mile, she sprints with such vigor haha! We cross the finish line at 2:02:40, a tie between us!
It was an epic race, and it taught me a lot. We hung out after the race, taking it easy. Getting massages and talking to a bunch of people. We of course ran into Jesus, really nice guy who just loves the sports (including triathlon! Congrats on YOUR first 70.3!!). We got food from the hot dog food truck and had our picture taken by the vendor. This was probably the most social I’ve been at a race and it was such a new and grand experience.
I guess this wasn’t too short, but I am busy recovering for the next half this coming weekend, which it looks to be the same temperature. I ran a struggling 4.85 miles today, and took a long time to get loose. I am experiencing so many new food places and have learned so much about the SoCal area in the past few days. In my path to race in 50 states, I now have my California badge, and my run with a friend badge! Thanks for reading again.
Post race thoughts (April 2017): This was THE best half marathons I’ve ever done from the start to post race. The food was amazing with the food voucher, the start was on time and the parking wasn’t as complicated as they made it out to be, the mile signs dead on, the path the half took was amazing and simple, the aid stations were bomber!, and the people and race ambassadors were amazing. Def coming back again this next year.