Run To Remember 2017 recap

Started running again in January in order to build for Boston. A little sluggish in the first 2 weeks, but started to get into the rhythm of the training. The typical schedule is something like this:
  • Mon - 6-8 miles running
  • Tuesday - 6-8 miles running with some speedwork
  • Wednesday - 4-5 miles easy running + 20-25 miles hard cycling
  • Thursday - 6 miles medium effort running + 20-25 miles medium effort cycling
  • Friday - long run
  • Saturday - long bike + 4 miles running easy
  • Sunday - off
So with that going on for a month, I thought it'd be a good idea to test the waters and see what I can do on a short course. At the end of January I ran a local half marathon in Griffith Park and did ok, basically matching where I was last year in January. I was encouraged by this development (even though I was sore as hell for 3-4 days), and so I signed for the Run to Remember half which is basically a collection of my lunch time running routes in Hollywood.

Did a little bit more work than I should have during my ride on Saturday the day prior, so the legs were not super fresh come Sunday morning when I rolled out of bed at 4:45am. Had my usual Clif Bar with a side of banana and cashews, plus coffee. Got to the Grove at around 5:45am, parked, picked up my bib, went back to the car... listened to the radio, peed in the bottle to avoid the stupid long lines and went downstairs again to take my space by the starting line.

The sub 7 min group was a little sparse so I had plenty of room of stretch and do some basic warming up. The weather was awesome - high 50s, plenty of sunshine, clear and cool. Kicked off at 7:01am, and the first 1/2 mile were a real struggle - I was trying to find some space to run, and it was a bit of an uphill, so the pace was really punishing. By the time we got to Melrose I settled into a good rhythm and was averaging 6:21 min/mile. We ran into the Paramount lot, where the water station was manned by my Tri team members. Grabbed a cup of water from Agnieszka and proceeded towards the Bronson gate. I know I look like I am being chased by cops in the picture below, but that's just how much of a savage I am.

There after a quick lot detour the 10k and the 1/2 marathon crowds split. I was able to see the field in front of me and by my estimation I was about 20th from the front.

I knew that the climb up Western and Hollywood blvd is coming up, so the rest of the run on Melrose was the effort to get as close to the group up front. For some reason I made it up Western with ease but once I was on Hollywood blvd I really started to hurt. The pace was still high, all the way to the turnaround on Vermont, but I was really struggling. Heart rate was in the mid 170s, no bueno. In my mind, I just needed to get past Normandie on the way back and then get my shit together on the downhill all the way back to Melrose.

I got to the turnaround and I was actually 21st there. The runners in front of me looked pretty young, so I thought that I had a decent shot at placing in my age group. The downhill back to Melrose was a nice relief for my quads and I was ready to take on the Melrose hill - TWICE! Climbed it quite gingerly, knowing how unpleasant it really is even on a training run.  Got back to the Bronson gate of Paramount and here we merged with the 10k crowds - or put differently, the walkers of the 10k crowd.

From here to La Brea it was mainly all about dodging the walkers, trying to not get jammed into the curb like it happened last year when a lady in front me decided to suddenly stop and bolt in a coffee shop. The average speed dropped to 6:34 min/mile. Finally got to La Brea and from here we had our own lane again. Suddenly I got dropped by a group of 3 runners. Chased them all the way to the 3rd street where a did our last turnaround, and were within a mile or so from the finish line. I caught all but one of them, but had him and one more running in my sight all the way to the finish line. Finish time was 1:25:54, official time 1:25;52, the Garmin goodness can be seen here in all of its glory.

Got my medals, picked up a few bananas and a Nesquick's protein drink and walked back to the car - slowly! Got home and actually discovered that I finished 23rd overall, and took the 1st in my age group. Yay me!

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