A disappointing PR

Got up today at 4:15am. Had a cup of cooked oatmeal, a banana, a yogurt, about 6 oz of OJ and a small cup of coffee. I was shooting for about 700 calories for breakfast. Got picked up by my buddy Ankur and his roommate at 5:20am and headed to the Dodgers stadium. Mistake #1 - could have stayed home for another hour. A drop off was quick and we were there at 5:45am. Walked around, hit a portpotty twice, saw a few peepz from my team and headed to my corral.

For some reason, the corral entrance reminded me of the Soviet era line at a liquor store. Everyone tries to get in, people pushing, chicks trying to squeeze in with their boyfriends even though you have to pre-register for a corral spot.... stupidity abound. Once in, it was actually nice since I found a spot by the concrete bench and put my bag of stuff down. Warmed up for a little while - mainly short slow runs, some kicks, shuffles and then 4 strides... Now the right calf started aching during the strides. Oh oh...

The elite women went off at 7:10am or so (all 7 of them, LOL), and then people started pushing towards the front of the line. Now this was looking more like a Slayer concert with people angling for the spot at the stage. Poor volunteer kids were getting pushed and shoved, albeit gently. Mayor speech was short and the gun went off for the rest of the field. We were out of the gate in about a minute after the start of the run.

The right calf was still sore. I had to stop for 20 seconds and massage it. Suddenly it just quieted down and I was on my way downhill. After the first mile I was already way behind my pace... I started trying to catch up. The first 3 miles were mainly downhill and I was getting close to 7:25 min/mile on average. The we started climbing the hill on Temple st and running towards Silver Lake. I was not making up lost time anymore. Not good.

We got to Sunset and it was roughly about 10 km into it. The crowd thinned out and I no longer had to contend for a corner space or watch out for the elbows. Lots of people were out supporting the run and the atmosphere was  plain awesome.  Still I was stuck at 7:30min/mile and I saw no real way to accelerate as I knew that the Hollywood area is going to be full of short, sharp rollers. Eventually I worked my way down to 7:28min/mile at around mile 12. I actually was getting hungry despite having eaten a GU gel at mile 7. Started grabbing orange slices that were abundant throughout the course, and a banana slice here and there. Saw some kid giving away potato chips and grabbed a bunch - thanks kid, you were an awesome help!

Had another GU, as we blasted down Doheny. Again lots and lots of supporters... a very encouraging setting. I was checking for the signs of fatigue as were getting past mile 15 and saw little... quads were tightening a little from the hill running, but nothing too dramatic. The average pace was at around 7:29 min/mile. Then came the stretch on Burton. Pure sufferfest for some  reason. A non-ending false flat, with a nasty wind in my face. Got to turn around on Wilshire and run a short while til the intersection of Santa Monica. This is where I started to feel the legs talking to me. I knew that I had some appreciable rollers ahead of me as we would cross Westwood and I was getting worried.

Took another GU and tried to keep the pace from dropping past 8 min/mile. Not terribly successful... was hoping to find someone to draft off since the had wind really picked up and could not find anyone willing to go at my clip... Eventually got to the VA site and at that point I knew that I'd be about 5 mins behind my goal time. There was no way I would be to run a 42 minute 10k from that point. I was so bummed by this realization.

Ran down San Vincente without too much enthusiasm. It was getting really freaking cold too! 54 F with wind. The crowds were very good as we hit Santa Monica. Finally saw my kids and wifey and my dad at the 14th street and it gave me a good moral boost. From there I ran pretty strong and hit the finish chute sprinting. Walked past the KTLA crew as they were interviewing some guy and apparently they caught me on TV. Yay! Finish time was 3:21:57, a PR but almost 7 minutes worse than the goal. Link here.

The organizers for some reason intended for everyone to walk down Ocean Ave almost til the Santa Monica Pier. I was getting cold, hungry and thirsty all at the same time. Grabbed a bagel, 2 bananas, water and cliff bar and a space blanket and sneaked past the barricades. Started walking towards my dad's place on Euclid and I was getting really cold, like nearly hypothermic. Wife had to come pick me up half way into my mini deathmarch. Got to my dad's place, took a hot shower, changed into some clean clothes and had some chicken soup with a huge chicken breast. Life was good again, except for no BQ for me today.

Gonna take a day or 2 off and then get into the pool.


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