Home > 1/2 Marathon, Triple Crown > La Jolla Half: Running a 2:33:18 on the Hardest Track I’ve Seen Yet

La Jolla Half: Running a 2:33:18 on the Hardest Track I’ve Seen Yet

I ran the La Jolla Half-Marathon in April right around the time that we had a leave of absence from posting. School picked up for finals and I’ve been in summer school since which may explain a little of the leave. In any regard, I still apologize for the absence. Since then I don’t remember as much as I would have if it was fresh but I still remember a lot.

I remember that the GPS took me to the wrong location and it was interesting going in circles to try and find the right place. I took a wrong left and found a parking lot right near the buses, thankfully, and it was a lot closer than the main parking lot. The parking for me was lucky but for others there were no buses and it was pretty much a free for all. Pre-event was a lot of frustration. Most of the marathons I go to I can’t attend the convention so I have to find a different way to get ahold of my bib and RFID tag. To anyone that is worried about this, I will say there is always a way to skip the convention and get the bib otherwise.

The staff for this event were rather rude to be honest. They care a lot more than they should about people taking bibs that aren’t there’s for runners who aren’t going to make any noise. They want people who are picking up the bib to be that person. If not, you need a driver’s license, a signed document saying they can pick up the information. I forgot to give this to my mom and she had to drive around for two hours and wait a half hour in some surf shop waiting for a fax because the information couldn’t be provided by picture text. You can pass airport security with a picture of your ticket on your phone but you can’t pass this event staff. Ridiculous? But it gets better, after that we didn’t have the cash to pay to get your bib your morning of so my mom wrote a check and threatened her if it bounced. Come on people. It’s a marathon. We’re not signing the lease to a home, we’re signing a $20 check for a marathon of which only costs $60. So, you’re charging roughly 35% to get our bib at the marathon which shouldn’t be that much of an inconvenience and to put the cherry on top, we get attitude for it. It makes for a perfect reason to come back. But, it didn’t end there. They gave me attitude while I was getting my bib and while I was picking up my shirt afterward.

Apart from the great service the staff provided, the half marathon was actually extremely beautiful. I was really nervous about the “monster hill” La Jolla is known for not to mention the hills in between. I met a few people before getting on the bus and they eased my mind about it. Some people to look up too, running a 1:45 and one of them was a pretty big guy, not the average skinny muscle we’re all used to seeing. I know I’m down to a 2:33 for my best time but it’s nice to know that under a 2:00:00 is right around the corner. The guy I talked too on the bus was really nice too. I talked to him for the 30 minutes it took to get to the event. Going to community college, screwed off a lot, but he’s getting his stuff together. He knows a lot about running and the bond you make when you run with someone. After we told our life stories we both went our separate ways.

So the marathon took off from intercoms at this shopping center. And I start off running and I usually try and go the pace of the runners that I’m starting with. Whether or not I’m in the right corral or wave or group, I always move up as much as I can. At the one mile mark I notice the time and I say to myself, nah that can’t be and I kept running and running with the group that I was with. And I started getting way more tired than I’m used too, “I know I haven’t been training that hard because of school but I can’t be this out of shape?” I saw the 4 mile marker time and noticed 40 something minutes on the clock, I know it was around 44 minutes. “44 minutes, divided by 4…. Ohhhhhh”

The five mile marker was coming up and in the distance I see this huge hill and as you get closer you start to see runners going up it, “So, that’s what they were talking about.” At a GU right before it and ran a little and noticed that wasn’t gonna happen so I walked the 2 mile hill that seemed like a 45% grade most of the way up. I felt pretty good afterward and must have sprinted down the hill because I made up for lost time, I was going pretty fast, probably a lot faster than I should have, could have gotten easily hurt. So, it was two miles up and then two miles down. At about mile 9 when I was ready to give up and just walk the rest. I worked out the time in my head and I couldn’t beat my 2:40 time. The guy I knew crossed right around the same I crossed the start. He worked it out in his head and if I kept up the pace I could still make it. So, we jogged and walked the rest of the way. I was thinking a 2:39 and possibly a 2:40 again. I see the clock in the distance say 2:36 as I’m running down the last hill we had to climb for the finish. Tag time was 2:33:18. The guy came running right after me and congratulated me for getting a 2:30.

I was really happy that I did it, I remember that. When you beat your time, as far as physical endurance there aren’t many people to thank but yourself. They may have helped you a long but all you have to blame and the one you have to most thank is yourself. You did it, you overcame, no one else but yourself. And that’s a great high to ride.

Despite the event staff, the people and the half itself is a beautiful course. Even with the hills you can still hall down half of it (what comes up must come down). Just make sure you have good form when you run down the hills and make sure you lift your head up when you’re going up them. Picking your head up, opens your trachea and gives your lungs more air, you shouldn’t be as tired from the hill, though you  may feel like it. Good form down a hill is important so you don’t hurt anything (people tend to go faster down hill then up hill). Usually a lot more pounding then uphill.

Categories: 1/2 Marathon, Triple Crown
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  1. September 3, 2011 at 4:38 am

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