Sunday, September 5, 2010

2010 Disneyland Half Marathon

2010 Disneyland Half Marathon race report

Sunday, May 2, 2010

2010 OC Half Marathon

Placeholder for 2010 OC Half Marathon race report

Friday, April 23, 2010

Seal Beach 10K Race Report

I was looking forward to this race for a while because one year ago, this was the first race I had ever entered and I wanted to see how I would do a year later.   I'm currently training for the OC Half Marathon on May 2 so I was mainly treating this as a training run for the half marathon.  The schedule called for 9 miles this weekend so all I needed to do was add an additional 3 miles.

Unfortunately, the Thursday before the 10K, I had to stop my 6-mile tempo run short (at about 3.5 miles) due to some pain I was experiencing in my foot/ankle area.  After that, I wasn't sure whether I would even be able to run the 10K because I didn't want to make it worse.  I iced it on Thursday and Friday and on Saturday morning, it felt okay enough that I decided I would go ahead and do the run.  If I felt any pain come back, I would slow way down or walk if necessary.

The kids all stayed over at the grandparent's house on Friday night so Kat and I didn't have to worry about waking the kids up to drop them off in the morning.   That also gave us a few extra minutes of sleep which was well appreciated. 

Got there around 7am and parked in the marina parking lot northwest of the starting line area.  Last year we parked by the pier to be closer to the finish line but had to pay for parking.  This other parking lot was free and the walk back from the finish line wasn't too bad (maybe about a 7-8 minute walk).

After getting our bibs, I headed back to the car because I was still wearing my regular glasses and forgot to switch to my prescription sunglasses.  I also still had my sweatshirt on which I wasn't planning on wearing for the race.  I get back to the car and noticed a sign in the lot that I was in that a permit was required to park there.   Wasn't sure if this was being enforced that morning but didn't want to take the chance and decided to just move the car to the adjacent parking lot since there was plenty of space over there.  As I got out of the car, I spotted our friend Tam in the parking lot who just go there as well.  She was also running in the 10K.

So, finally got my bib pinned and headed back towards the start line, got in line to use the port-o-potty and line seemed to be about 10 people deep.

As I waited for the race to start, I found another twitter friend, Rithy (aka @baboo128, and met his wife My.  Also, got to meet Sheila (aka @sheswimbikerun) and her daughter Jenny.  They were doing the 5K as a family.  Chatted a little bit but stupid me, forgot to take a picture.  Sheila was actually my high school math teacher back at Mater Dei!

They did wave starts this year.  Kat and I were going to run with wave 3 but I think we ended up actually starting at the end of wave 2. 
  • mile 1 - 10:02
  • mile 2 - 10:01
First couple of miles were crazy crowded.  Lots of walkers, strollers, people with dogs so had to do a lot of weaving.   I still had a little bit of a tender foot/ankle so I was kind of taking this time to gauge how my foot was feeling.  So far, it felt fine but I knew it would around mile 3 where I would be able to tell whether I would be able to finish the race without having to stop or walk.  The first water stop came up and although I wasn't thirsty I decided I would get a drink anyway and as I always do, I walk just long enough to pick up the water and drink it.  This way I'm not choking or spilling water all over myself.
  • mile 3 - 8:59
  • mile 4 - 9:18
At this point, my foot was still feeling fine so I decided to pick up the pace.  I started thinking back about the same spots on the course last year and was feeling good at how much easier it felt now than it did a  year ago.  A year ago, I was starting to struggle at this point already and breathing pretty heavily. 
  • mile 5 - 9:19
  • mile 6.2 - 8:47
Last miles along the bike path went by pretty quick and main thing I remember was passing this guy that had passed me earlier in mile 1.  He was clearing his throat quite a bit and spitting a lot and since he was pretty tall, some of that spit was getting blown back to people behind him (like me!).  Pretty nasty...   Anyway, when I saw him I made sure not to run behind him and did my best to get by him as quickly as possible.

The final sprint to the finish was great especially knowing that I was going to come in under 1 hour like I had hoped.

official time:  57:52

All in all, I felt really good and was glad to be able to experience the same race that had been my first ever race one year ago.  Thanks Seal Beach!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Upcoming Races

I finally registered for the upcoming OC half marathon on May 2 and the Seal Beach 10K on April 10.
The Seal Beach 10K was my first ever race a year ago so I wanted to do it again this year just as a way to celebrate my 1-year running anniversary.  Should be fun!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Brea 8K Recap

Last Sunday, I ran in the 19th annual Brea 8K with my wife and a bunch of friends.  My friend Mernie decided it would be fun to create a team and so Team Grease Lightning was born.   The team name came up because all the girls were going to wear pink and be like the The Pink Ladies from the musical Grease.  The guys would wear black and be like the T-Birds.

It was a perfect day to run. There were 3,000 registered participants for the race. The race started and ended at the Brea Mall. Started back in the 9min/mile group but I think people pretty much started wherever they wanted since I passed a lot of walkers and strollers right at the beginning. Beginning was slow going because of the crowd and pretty much stayed that way until after the "hilly" part around mile 2.5 and then it cleared up enough where I no longer had to weave in and out too much.

Team Grease Lightning

Started my a little after the starting horn sounded because I wasn't sure where the starting line was. First time I've been in a race without chip timing so wasn't sure how it worked.
  • mile 1 - 10:07 
 The beginning was really slow going.  I started back in the 9min/mile section but I ended up passing A LOT of walkers and people with strollers.  It would have been nice if they had started in the back like they are supposed to but I guess there isn't really any good way to enforce it.  It was a little chaotic with race volunteers trying to keep the runners inside the cones.  The first little uphill portion came up on the way to Randolph and I felt good and was able to get up it with no problem (glad it was in the beginning of the race).
  • mile 2 - 9:17 
The short uphill at the end of mile 1 helped thin out the crowd a little bit but there were still lot of people and the course was coned off to one lane.  Volunteers and Brea Police drove by couple times urging people to stay inside the cones as they were going to start opening the street to regular traffic soon.  It was kind of cool running and seeing the mass of people ahead of me as they turned on to Associated Rd.  about a half a mile ahead.   The first water station came up as we turned onto Associated Rd. but I ended up not stopping for it.  In fact, I just skipped the water altogether since I figure I would be finishing in less than 50 minutes.
  • mile 3 - 9:36 
Mile 3 had the 2nd uphill portion of the course.  As you turn onto Kraemer it looks a lot steeper than it really is.  I was able to get through this part with no problem again and still felt pretty good.  I knew after that hill it would be pretty much flat or downhill the rest of the way so I was going to have no problem.
  • mile 4 - 8:42
  • mile 5 - 8:18
Going back down Associated Rd. back to Birch was pretty much downhill so I was able to gradually pick up some speed.  It was one lane still and had to slow down a couple times so I didn't get to pick up as much speed as I would have wanted.  Still felt strong this whole way.  By the time I got back onto Birch I knew it was only about one more mile until the finish.  I felt a little bit of a struggle at this point but I looked at my watch and was actually pacing around 8:30 which was surprising to me (I thought I was going closer to 9:00).  At one point, I heard a young girl behind me saying "excuse me" or "move over" (I can't remember now but it was something like that).  Anyway, I thought she was talking to me so I had to slow down and look over my shoulder to figure out where she was coming from.   I was close to the right side of the road and there weren't a lot of people around me at this point so I wasn't sure how I could be in the way.  Turns out she was actually talking to some other girl behind me.  That killed a little of my momentum but oh well...

The last turn onto St. College heading back into the mall where the finish line was was pretty cool and lot of people lined up cheering the runners on.  I gave one last burst and got into the finish line with a final time of 46:19 (9:18 pace).  On my watch, I had gone 5.03 miles and final time was 46:15 (9:12 pace). 

Time to Eat!!!
The food court at the finish line was nice. Had food from local restaurants (CPK, BJ's, Claim Jumper, Jamba Juice, Rubio's, etc.) along with the standard bananas, oranges, and water. But heck, it was so crowded so it took a while to get anything.  One suggestion I'd make for this event in the future would be to make food court area a little larger.  There's more than enough space in that huge mall parking lot that they could easily widen it by 20 feet or more.  Also, I didn't like the trash cans that were placed right smack dab in the middle of the food court.  I can understand why they were there but since it was so crowded, I kept running into the trash cans as I'd try to walk down to one end and have to try and cram myself back into the flow of people.

It was super crowded in the food court!

Left: fish taco from Rubio's and a danish (which I had picked up to give to my kids later).  
Right:  Kat with all her food (some pizza, pasta, breakfast burrito (which she gave to me), and a coffee cake

Me, Darryl, and Brian enjoying our post race food

All in all, it was a fun day and I'll probably do it again next year.  It's near my house, registration is reasonable, and food at the end isn't bad either!  See ya next year Brea!