Feb 18, 2013

2/17/13: Rock 'n' Roll Pasadena Half Marathon

Half Marathon #10 is done! This was my first time running this half marathon. I missed the inaugural event last year due to injury so I was excited to be able to do it this year. We went to the expo on Friday to beat the weekend crowd and make a pit stop at this place. I had a gift card so I bought a pair of shorts.
Bib pick up was pretty fast and easy as well as parking pass pick up. We chose to park in the Rose Bowl for $10 so that we did not have to walk too far. The expo is pretty small so we did a quick walk through and then headed home.
The race was well organized and had plenty of potties and all of that good stuff. The snacks after the race were pretty good too. Jamba Juice gave out smoothies, and cold water and Gatorade, pretzels, bananas, and granola bars were also available. The course is very scenic and starts and finishes at the Rose Bowl. My favorite part of the course was crossing over the Colorado Bridge. The course also goes through Old Town Pasadena and includes numerous landmarks in the city such as the Tournament of Roses House and the Norton Simon Museum.

Deena Kastor ran this race and I saw her heading back when I was barely at Mile 4 or 5. She finished in 1:12:56 (5:34 pace). She is pretty amazing and was the top female finisher..of course!

Deena Kastor
The parking was great! I got lucky and parked in a lot that was about ten steps from my car to the Start. Score! Most of the parking lots seemed to be within a very close range of the Start but I think mine was one of the best. I was the best $10 that I ever spent on race parking. I was able to use the bathroom and keep my son warm in the car until the race was about to start. 
I was a little worried about the weather but it turned out to be just perfect. It was 48 degrees at the Start and the course had lots of shade. Two days prior to the race the temperatures had been in the low 80 degree range so I was preparing for a hot and hilly run. 
I really enjoyed the course but definitely need to incorporate more hills to my training. I am not a big fan of hills but I know that sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone to make things happen. I wouldn't say that the course is super hilly but it had a couple of nice sized hills to tackle.
The first small hill of the course hits right about a half mile into the race and then another nice sized one right before Mile 2. I wanted to take a picture but I was too focused on getting to the top. Miles 3-9 were probably the easiest part of the course. I loved running over the Colorado Bridge around Mile 9 but after the bridge, I was greeted by another hill (pictured below) that kind of tired me out. I borrowed this picture from Pasadena Rock and Roll's Facebook page and I was already nervous when I saw it!
I tried to be smart on the hillier parts of the course by slowing down and then recovering and picking it back up on the parts of the course that were downhill or not as difficult. The last mile and a half of the course had a gradual incline and I was tired and struggled a bit around Mile 12, which was my only mile over 9:00 (9:38 mile..yuck) but was able to pick it up in the end. 

I think I need to add some hill workouts to my future training so I can tackle this type of course. I guess if you train on hills the flatter courses will be that much easier. I finished in 1:53:29 and I am happy with this time because the course gave me a good workout.
My last half marathon had  a much flatter course and I finished about four seconds faster so I know that I didn't do too bad this time on a much tougher course. This was my third half marathon this year and I have no scheduled races in March. I am not sure what I am going to do with myself in March. I have been looking around for a March race but have not committed to anything yet.
I am taking it easy today. My five day weekend is coming to an end and it's back to work tomorrow. My puppies have been sick the last few days with tummy trouble so that has not been fun. They are feeling much better today after another trip to the vet to get some antibiotics.

How was your weekend? 

What did you do for President's Day? Did you have the day off?

19 comments:

  1. Your times are inspiring. I'm still trying to break 2:30 on a half! congratulations!

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    1. Thank You Jennifer! You can do it! Just believe in yourself, keep at it, and it will happen for you!

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  2. You did fantastic!!!
    I did the same as you and visited lulu after I went to the Expo!

    March...PETCO San Diego....that is where I am headed!! is that on your maybe list?

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    1. It was not an easy course for me. Even Deena Kastor commented about the hills on the course so I don't feel so bad :) I haven't thought about a San Diego race since I would have to get a hotel and they are pricey. I am trying to stay local for a March race.

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  3. Awesome work on the run! Great time - especially with the undulating course! Inspiration!

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    1. Thank You! I enjoyed the course even though it challenged me.

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  4. You must be so happy!!!! That's an incredible time - with or without the hills. Best of all, it sounds like you feel good, which deserves a medal in itself.

    Congrats :)

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    1. Thank You Lisa! I felt great during the run but need to be better prepared for courses that have some hills. I am going to work on it.

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  5. Nice job, you did great for a hilly course! And that looks hilly! Enjoy your recovery time.

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    1. Thank You Christy. Overall the course was very scenic and I enjoyed it but the hills just kept coming and coming. I never felt like I was running on flat ground!

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  6. Great job for the hilly course! I always love when I can see the front runners at some part of the course. They make it look so easy and it's a nice mind distraction since it boggles my mind on how fast they move! :)

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    1. Thank You Abbi! I agree with you. It was great to see Deena Kastor pass and it was amazing to see her just flying by. She was so focused. There were lots of out and backs on the course but I didn't mind it. Great course but just a little tough in terms of the hills.

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  7. You seriously rock - what a great time for such a hilly course. Would love to run Pasadena one year. My grandparents live out there and it would just be so fun running in and around the Bowl! Grew up there practically. :)

    Way to rock lady!

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    1. Thank You Megan! I was feeling much better than Surf City for sure. I also grew up in Pasadena so it was nice to run in my hometown. You should do this race. It is not an easy course but it's very scenic and not very big in my opinion. I might just do it again next year since I know what to expect now :)

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  8. Congrats, Sandy....you should feel great pride in your time, as it's a good one for a FLAT course, let alone a hilly one! When I used to live in Southern California (1980 - 1993), I spent a lot of time doing long bike rides with my club through many of the hills in and around Pasadena, so I have a good idea of some of the terrain you covered....VERY impressive! Well done!

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    1. Thank You Bill! You are always there to encourage me! You need to come back to California since you know all of the places that I run so well. The course was not easy for me but I now know where I need some work.

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  9. Congratulations!

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  10. Good job, especially with those hills!

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  11. Congratulations! You are so speedy. How are you enjoying those Mizunos? I've been running in the same ones and really loving them.

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