Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Race Report: winja's Pasadena Inaugural Half Marathon (01.22.2017)

Guys. Post-Ironman life is awesome. Mostly awesome because I can sleep in. I have so much more time now - to think about things, to focus on things, to be someone else versus just a zombie who works and works out nonstop.

I went through a little bout of depression after the Ironman race. It's a real thing that people say actually happens! Similar to PTSD but mainly because of the vast void that comes into your life after a big event.

To be honest, I haven't worked out much. I've been on a handful of runs - nothing more than 3 miles - and I've been trying to stay off my feet so that the plantar fasciitis in my heel can heal. (side note: it hasn't healed)

I've biked a few times, but nothing like what I used to do with Patrick. My legs have thanked me for the break I've given them.


Fast forward to last Sunday: I was

- absolutely out of shape
- not ready for a race
- not ready for THIS race in particular

Patrick and I had a few conversations before this: we were going to go party pace, we were going to have fun, and most importantly, we were going to see each other! It felt like it had been a while since we had seen one another (I miss my training buddy sometimes.)


On Saturday night, Boyface and I celebrated my birthday a little early with my sister and Phil at Arroyo Chop House. Steak is fantastic, but when you have it Friday Night (At Alexander's Steakhouse, yum!) and Saturday night, a race on Sunday doesn't sound so appealing. We leave full and happy, and get to bed early so that I can be ready for the race the next morning.

With a start time of 7am, boyface and I leave at 6 from my place (I'm about 2 miles away from the start line). The instructions on the website tell you to take the freeway and exit via a specific exit because of street closures. Normally I don't take the freeway to get to the Rose Bowl, but if that's what the directions say, that's what I should do, right?

Wrong. We got onto the freeway and are IMMEDIATELY met with traffic. So much traffic that we move 6 blocks in 30 minutes. By now, Patrick has beat me to the Rose Bowl, parked, and is looking for a place for us to get situated. I'm still 1.5 miles away from the bowl, mildly freaking out in Jesus's car.

I see people getting out of their cars and RUNNING toward the the Rose Bowl. A handful of them pass, and Jesus looks at me like I'd better get out there and run myself.

It's raining still at this point. I begrudgingly open the door, give him a kiss, and add those extra 1.5 miles to my run for the day.

The good news is that I met another person running to the  bowl too and ran with her the rest of the way. AND! I got to run on the freeway. That was cool.

I make it there at 6:58am. As I'm running in, the announcer says that the race has been postponed for about 20 minutes to account for the seemingly endless line of cars waiting to get into the parking lot. I find Patrick and we pump ourselves up! We're in line with the 2:30 crowd because we both know that while we were capable of hitting a sub-2 half marathon 2 months ago, we're pushing it if we try to hit the 2:30 even now.

The race starts and we run out of the Rose Bowl. We go up what they call the California incline, and it's hills galore! They don't seem so bad. The rain goes away for a little bit, and then it comes on pretty heavily. I'm glad we've got hats on - they're the only thing keeping the rain out of our faces. Patrick's wearing pants, but I make the mistake of wearing my running skirt. I can't feel my legs and my hands are going numb. But P and I cruise along, catching up and just having a great time in general.

We got to run over the suicide bridge, down Colorado Blvd, and the last 3 miles were around the Rose Bowl (probably should have put that in the beginning on the race versus the end. Not very scenic.) - Patrick promises that he won't run ahead of me this time, and he kept his promise!

As we cross the finish line, we run straight for those aluminum blankets that they pass out to people who are freezing. It's cold as F*** and pouring rain. We grab beer from Ballast Point, but the rain is so intolerable that we just leave. I'm sorry I wasted good beer.

My shoes are wet, my body is soaked. The rain jacket I have on is ineffective (probably because it's not meant for playing in the rain). My plan was to walk home after the race, but I ask Patrick for a ride and he takes me home.

Beautiful medal, great race course, but not meant for the rain. I think in retrospect they probably should have rescheduled the race...

Overall, very fun. I'd do it again, but probably only with proper training. And if I can convince Patrick to run it with me.