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Triple Crown Finisher 2011

September 3, 2011 2 comments

Carlsbad
La Jolla
San Diego

I just finished the Triple Crown for the year two-thousand eleven and it was a great experience. This series was really filled with milestones. The Carlsbad run finished up my first time running 39.3 miles in three weeks (~ 40 miles). The second week of which I got my best time so far, 2:40:00, just barely missed the 2:30:00 region. I also met a really nice runner who I saw throughout the series one way or another. La Jolla, conquering the biggest hills and the biggest hill I’ve seen yet, with one of them 2 miles up a roughly 45% grade and getting my best time to this day 2:33:00. I met a nice runner there too who pushed me to keep going and keep a good pace, if it wasn’t for him I’m not even sure I would have made sub 2:40:00. San Diego, the milestone would have been better to talk about if I actually made the 2:18:00 pace but things happen and you have to roll with it. I did however get my best 10k split time, well really it was my best 6 mile split time (1 hour or 1:00:00, roughly 10 minutes per mile), the 10k was pretty terrible because of the bathroom break (roughly 1:20:00 at that point, 20 minutes for .4 miles). Also stressing the fact that I wasn’t tired so the likelihood of me keeping a 10 min pace could have been pretty high.

Technically, these were all in San Diego or extremely close to San Diego so the last name should be more like Downtown San Diego, I just didn’t want to write AFC. The event staff are pretty strict for this series so whatever it says on the website and stuff they mean it, especially for La Jolla. To me, I don’t think it’s necessary and I don’t see there reasoning but that’s how they run the show.

After you get through the event staff it’s all uphill from there (could mean literally, San Diego has some hilly courses, which I didn’t know San Diego had until then). The courses are beautiful, it’s all beachfront. It’s worth the wait, it’s worth the money. I thought I would have more to say but that’s pretty much it. Lot of milestones, beautiful courses, a great time, well worth it. Not sure if I’ll do it again next year, going to try and cut back a lot. Out of all of them this one would be a good one to do though but I might be selective and only choose local.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible. Wake up calls, gas money, driving me there and back to the convention and to the run the next day, figuring out where the runs are at 5:00 AM before work. It all made this possible and I am grateful. Thank you and woohoo! I’m a  Triple Crown Finisher!

[As a side note, only sign up for the series if you can do a sub 3:00:00 because at least one of the runs if not all of them require a time better than 3 hours.]

Categories: 1/2 Marathon, Triple Crown

Running in America’s Finest City

September 2, 2011 1 comment

Finished up my finals for biostastics, worked two days, and went into the half marathon with a little preparation. I went over what to do to get to the course and things to look out for, I made sure I went through the final course packet, highlighted things and put things in red that are really important. I passed out early and got as much ready as I needed to before bed. I honestly can’t remember if I just got ready that morning. My mom woke me up at 3:00AM, 5 minutes before my alarms went off, made me a shake, and I ran out the door to get to the half marathon. I typed in balboa park in the GPS on my phone and it took me to the best spot in the run to park. It took about 20 minutes to get up this steep hill but it was well worth the wait. The main thing about driving to San Diego is that every station goes fuzzy but you can get a little of 98.7, it starts getting really fuzzy the more downtown you get.

I hopped on the bus and again they are really strict for some reason at this marathon series for having your bib and such. Waited about an hour at the start line and it didn’t seem like there were any corrals when the gun went off because people just ran when they had the chance. I kept a 10 minute mile pace for about 6 miles which is the best that I’ve had yet. Even better I didn’t feel tired at all but I had to stop at the bathroom which took 15 minutes off my time and another 15 minutes of walking to recover (5 minutes added to 3 miles).

I actually met up with one of the people I saw in Carls Bad, she was running and said Hi. I felt bad because I veered off to go to the bathroom without saying anything, I was holding it for 2 miles, there are no words to describe. There wasn’t much that stood out in the course. We got lucky again, it was overcast up until the 11th mile as it usually seems to be. We were walking uphill for about a mile and then I noticed at the end of the uphill we were going uphill for about 2 1/2 miles. I didn’t even know it was on the course, no one said anything, I didn’t overhear anything. Except for running through a rental car lot near the airport the run wasn’t that bad, beachfront again or bay front, either way it was a beautiful course.

It would have been nice to finish the Triple Crown series with a sub 2:20:00 but it will happen eventually, then I just have to trim 20 minutes from my time to get my goal time. I think I ended with a 2:45:00 and I assumed that I added 30 minutes of unnecessary and avoidable actions for my next run so I think if I kept up with my pace I could have had around a 2:18:00, which is great, it’s nice to know I’m running sub 2:20:00 even though it’s not technically official.

Debating whether or not I should shoot for running a sub 2:20:00 for the Disneyland half marathon or at least run for time to see where I’m at. But it’s Disneyland? How can you pass up the sightseeing, out of all the runs? I might default to walking with Tina and my mom. This one will be a doozy, it’s a 3:30:00 finish time.

[Ordered the pictures over a week ago and they still haven’t arrived, a proof for now.]

[Not sure how San Diego got the trademark for America’s Finest City.]

Categories: 1/2 Marathon, Triple Crown

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

August 23, 2011 1 comment

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

Running in Carlsbad for Donate Life and Finishing up 39.3 Miles in 3 Weeks

February 7, 2011 1 comment

Thank You:

Grandpa: for driving to and from the convention and the race and the victory meal after the event. As well as the gas and hotel fees I didn’t have to pay because of the driving.
Mom: for financial support but having a mind lapse on what.

Irvine (January 8, 2011)
Arizona (January 16, 2011)
Carlsbad (January 23, 2011)

I ran the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Half Marathon 2011 on Sunday for the 3rd half marathon I completed in the Winter break and the third half in three weeks. It was quite an adventure and I’ve learned a lot about my body and running.

On Friday, I participated in a club event for a few hours and went to a stress echo right away (cardiologist said I have a perfect heart, no worries, the chest pain is more than likely from heart burn or skeletal muscle pain). Right after that, I ran into work for my first night shift. I had to switch with someone at work to get Friday morning off. After that, I ate and went to the convention with my grandpa. I picked up my Donate Life shirt, went home took care of a few things and passed out on my bed for a cat nap (up for 31 hours). Didn’t sleep very long actually, few hours and felt refreshed. Watch some television with my mom and couldn’t sleep until 2:00AM.

Woke up at 4:30AM and then at 4:32 and then 4:37 up until 4:55AM when I finally dragged myself out of bed, turned my light on and did my morning running routine before a race. Ate a little cereal, slapped some cheese on peanut butter bread and ran out the door. I was impressed they had so many bathrooms in the morning. In other races there can be so few that it takes 30 minutes to an hour to go to the bathroom.

There were about seven waves for the event, I was in the sixth and moved up to the 5th one because it was with the pacers who were around 2:30 pace. I had no expectations for this run but I figured I would try really hard so I moved up the wave. At about mile one I caught up with them going up this hill. I was behind them for about four miles and finally introduced myself to the pacer. I said, “Oh, I’ve been behind you for about four miles” the runners pacing with him all laughed. I talked with him for a few minutes after that, how was I feeling, a few tips on keeping pace. One of the big tips he gave me was going up and down hills. Put your chin up when going up a hill because it will open up your airway and give you more oxygen. If you put it down it will close up your trachea and give less. Going downhill, putting your chest out so it does a lot of the work for you, don’t use as much energy and go faster. Eating GU or power bars, try and eat them before a water station so they don’t dehydrate you at all.

I met another guy who was running with us for a few miles. He was using this as a training half marathon for the California Iron Man in March. He was really cool, just went with the flow. I went to get some water at a water station and didn’t see after that.

Nothing too out of the ordinary for this run along the way. There were a few bands, a few people playing music, a lot of people on the sidelines. The beachfront was okay, mostly salty air which made it a little harder to run in. I guess its harder to enjoy the beachfront property when something like that comes up because I’ve been fifteen minutes from the beach most of my life. I recognized the most of it from previous times we went though. Other than that, I didn’t notice too much of anything that was going on because I was mostly focused on keeping pace with the pacer. This one turned to be full of large hills (I think one of them was a mile up) and it got to be really hot out. I thought I was going to make it and about 9 1/2 miles I told him that I should walk because I was getting dizzy. I was actually dizzy for the last mile and just didn’t want to risk anything happening the day before school and after three half marathons in a row. We were on track, before that, to finish in a 2:29, one minute before 2:30. We were about one to two minutes ahead the whole time depending on going up hill or not.

A little bummed because I really felt like I could make it. While it seems like all you have to do is just do another one, when you’ve been running for that many miles, you get that “awwww” feeling for a few minutes. I said that I would run a little walk a little because I still could have made a 2:36 or a 2:39 but I couldn’t do it after I cooled down to a walk.

A runner at 12.5 miles came up to me and say, “Hey, I need your help, can you run with me?” Her team was already ahead of her and she needed someone to be right there with her. Definitely, it’s a lot easier that way, hard to explain. So, I said, “Sure” and kept running with her. To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled, I just jogged .4 miles right before she said to keep going with her and I was already exhausted but I did it. We stopped once along the way but finished together. It was her first one, she did a great job. A 2:40 for the first time! I think my first one was 3:35 haha and I was exhausted. She’s a trooper, I’ll run with her again.

A lot of people from Donate Life were supporting the runners. They were great and I loved the sweatshirts they had! I wish I could have picked one up myself somehow. I would wear that one everywhere. We missed the early morning photo shoot too, I feel kind of bad about that but I’ll do it if I do it next year. It was great running with Donate Life’s shirt though. They asked me to run with one as if they would be honored, but it was completely the opposite. Or more to say the respect or appreciation was both directions. Proud Tri-City Medical Carlsbad Donate Life runner. They took a picture at about mile 11. They had the news there, the works, promoting the event.

Walked to get the food and everything, ate it all on the way to the car, we drove home (luckily we were right near the freeway), went to Coco’s for a small celebration, uploaded pictures, and passed out right after.

This is the end of another first. My first time running three half marathons in a row. 39.3 miles in three ways. I’m also proud of keeping pace for 9.5 miles with a 2:30 pacer. That’s running almost more than the most I’ve ever run (10 miles) and running it the fastest I’ve ever run 11:45 pace.

Thank you to everyone who made this possible. My grandpa for driving me to and from the convention and to and from the race, the gas and hotel fees that I didn’t have to pay. My mom, financially, but I’m having a mind lapse on what she did. I’ll remember soon and post it. Thank you to everyone for reading and thank you to Donate Life for the opportunity to run for you as well as posting my picture on their blog. Thank you to everyone else who wasn’t mentioned.

[Original post date: January 23, 2011]

Categories: 1/2 Marathon, Triple Crown
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