Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Rock 'n' Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon Race Recap

The hubby and I ran the Rock 'n' Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon on Sunday morning. And you know me, I gotta #KeepItReal. Normally the Rock 'n' Roll series is not my jam (big races {read that as very crowded}, expensive registration fees, less than stellar courses, somewhat sub par entertainment, etc), but they were having a great deal on the LA race a few months back (I think it was as low as $50 per person) and with the lure of more bling (running more than one Rock 'n' Roll qualifying event gets you the chance to acquire Heavy Medals) I signed Ryan and I up.

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[Let's be real, it is hard to find many races around here with a $50 registration fee, so although the race was two weeks before my "goal" race, I was very woo'ed. I decided if Ryan would run the race with me, then I would do it (seeing as his pace is slower than mine and I wouldn't be tempted to run too fast). Even with the both of us registering, it was only about $100, which is what I normally pay for a single half marathon registration, so I considered it a win.]

We had a wedding to go to in San Diego on Saturday afternoon, so unfortunately we missed out on the #WeRunSocial Meet Up {BOO HISS}. I was originally going to have a friend pick up our bibs for us from the Expo because we wouldn't be able to make it, but quickly found out they were not allowing other's to pick up your bibs for this race. I took my complaint to the Twittersphere and quickly heard back from the Rock 'n' Roll team! They said that we would be able to bring our IDs and confirmation sheets to the Solutions tent on race morning and grab our bibs then - AWESOMESAUCE!

We normally don't dress up, so when we do, you know we better
document it for the world to see.

Anywho, we ended up getting up to Los Angeles around 9pm on Saturday evening. We checked into our hotel (which was pretty junky, but within a half mile from the start/ finish lines so we made it work), did some foam rolling, laid out our clothes for the race and then it was time for bed.

Flat Carlee included a red Sparkle Athletic skirt, a pair of Pro Compression
marathon socks
, Brooks PureConnect 2, my Garmin Forerunner 220, a sport
RoadID
, a Mud Love bracelet, my Garmin Vivofit2, and two Sparkly Soul
headbands
(one with a bow and one without).

Oh, did I forget to mention that this was a costume race?! Ha, silly me! This was one of the first non-runDisney costume races I have done, so I had tons of ideas to work with. I finally decided on Rosie the Riveter. I have never run with a piece of foam core strapped to my back before, but figured it probably wouldn't be terrible (I mean, I have run carrying Thor's hammer, Steamboat Willie's boat helm, Lumiere's candle sticks, Aunt Beru's blue milk jug and a sign telling everyone who I was, etc before - a piece of thick cardboard couldn't be that bad, right?!).

Bib pick up was super easy, especially because we got down to the LA Live area about an hour before the race. We pinned on our bibs, grabbed some water and bananas, used the rest room (well, Ryan did... I, on the other hand, was worried I wouldn't be able to fit in a port-o-potty with my costume so made sure I was empty before heading to the race), and  took a few pre-race pictures before heading to the corrals.

Rosie The Riveter was ready to ROCK the LA streets!

I guess we'll just consider Ryan "Patriotic Joe"...

The sunrise was pretty amazing! 

Corral selfie

Walking Corral 8 up to the starting line

The corrals were pretty much a free-for-all. They had signs saying which corral it was, but nothing was roped off, no one was checking bibs, etc. I was originally seeded in corral 2 and Ryan was supposed to be in corral 10. We ended up around corral 8 (based on where the official pacers were lining up). Being at the front of the corral seemed to work out well for us, because someone from the California Triathlon snapped a picture of me when it was our turn to go.

Everyone around me looks thrilled to be there, huh?! :)

They were letting the corrals go every 1-2 minutes, so although the official race time was 7:00am, we started closer to 7:15am. I asked Ryan before we started if he had any goals for this race. His only goal was to finish, so I knew it was going to be all about having fun, cheering on our fellow runners, handing out as many high fives and fist bumps as possible, and checking out the fun costumes.

Brian (aka Pavement Runner) and Michael (aka PointOneMiles) were doing the 5K/ Half Challenge (NOT an official thing, but they realized that because the 5K and half start at the same spot, that they could technically run the 5K as fast as they could and then jump back in line to start the half marathon while they were still releasing corrals). We saw them within the first mile or so (this course had many out and back parts, so you could see runners heading in the opposite direction as you) and cheered our little hearts out for them. Other than that, we kept chugging along until we got to the Coliseum. Sorry USC (and USC fans), but you are sort of like "that team down south" so I dislike you greatly. But, while we were there, we ended up running into Smitha (aka RunningWithSD) and Tam (aka TaMarathoner). Since this race was all about having fun, we decided to stop for a quick chat and a few pictures (well, I chatted and took pictures, Ryan used a "real" bathroom).

These ladies are always a blast!

Tam is such a sweetheart! Love seeing her at
the local races!

Love me some Smitha!

After hugs and wishing each other well, we were off to the races again. There was a bit of cloud cover, which was great, especially since I was running in a jean jacket... We just can't seem to shake the humidity lately, but other than that, it was a pretty great morning for running.

On one of the out and back portions we were able to spot Brian, Michael and Dave (aka FitFam6). Obviously we pulled over in the median and grabbed a quick picture. So stoked to be doing the SD2LV challenge with those guys in a couple weeks - such a great group of runners (and people!).

The #WeRunSocial crew knows how to have a good time!

We also caught up with Henry (aka BarefootElvis) a few miles later. He was chugging along (I always am so amazed at his ability to not only run in a full Elvis costume, but to do it BAREFOOT!) so I grabbed a quick picture with him. Than he sprinted ahead of us to take a picture of Ryan and I (how sweet is that?!).


Thanks to Henry for grabbing this picture of Ryan and I!

Around mile 7 we started hitting the "hills". The first one was more of an overpass, but was still fairly steep. After that was more of a slow and steady climb. Well, between the two hills I ate it... Yup... A rude man hole JUMPED out of the ground and bit me... I guess I was focused too much on chatting it up with the spectators to see it and MAN did it stop me in my tracks! I hit the ground HARD. The police officers that were near by all offered to help, but I assured them (and the hubby who seemed more startled than I was) that I was fine. Thankfully there wasn't much blood. I decided I needed to keep trucking though, because I knew if I would have stopped I would have ended up crying and maybe not be able to start up again.

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After the fall I was just trying to focus on anything other than my throbbing knees and forearms. I was cheering on the runners on the other side of the street, commenting on runners' costumes, and even doing a little dancing. I saw Linzie (aka SharpEndurance) KILLING the course {he was running so fast that we didn't even get a chance to grab a picture together} and Jessica finishing up her FOURTH half in less than 48 hours {yup, she is crazier than me and actually did the Ragnar Ultra in Napa starting on Friday!}. We saw Brian, Michael and Dave again, although it must have been before their Starbucks stop because they didn't have cups in their hands at this point.

A BIG thanks to @Awoo773 for sending over this picture! 

I know out and back courses aren't a lot of runners favorite, but I really like them. I like being able to see and cheer for fellow runners on the course. Especially during races where people are dressed up (like costume runs or runDisney races) because you can look at all the creativity - AND it gives you something to take your mind off of the running ;) It is also extra fantastic when you know so many people and get to shout out friends while they are rockin' and rollin'!

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Other than the bathroom stop around mile 3, my fall around mile 7, a stop around mile 10 to stretch Ryan's hip flexor and walking a couple of the water stations we kept at a great pace. Ryan's PR (personal record) is around a 2:12. I noticed around mile 11 that we probably wouldn't hit that (we had a couple of the hills to go), but that we could be in the 2:15 range. I gave Ryan the heads up and he told me to tell him when we had about a half mile to go and then he would start his kick.

So when I took a spill around Mile 7.3, it looks as though I somehow
managed to add an extra little lap in there, so "split 8" is .31 miles long.
It looks a little funky, but at least you get the idea of our pace...

I could see the 13 mile marker in the distance and that's when Ryan looked over at me and said he was going to sprint it in. Normally I can hang with him when he sprints, but this time I was left in his dust. He beat me by a good 5 people. We joked and said that maybe he left too much in his tank if he could kill it at the end like that, but at least he was able to go surfing later that afternoon so he considered it a perfect race plan.


As I was trying to catch up with Ryan a few people caught pictures of me. First, Competitor took a picture of me and added it to their article (just like they did for the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco the previous weekend).

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Also, I was included in the finish line Instagram video that Rock 'n' Roll posted HERE!

A video posted by runrocknroll (@runrocknroll) on

After we finished, we grabbed some goodies, went back to the Solutions tent to grab our participant tee (I much appreciate that we didn't have to pick it up before the race and then gear check it), and then went to check out the Toyota booth. They were giving away personalized vinyls if you did a couple little tasks, so we figured we'd play along. Come to find out (when we put them in our record player at the house) the records were blank (the personalized part was just a sticker with your name on it), but it was still a fun little souvenir.

Like I said, it was a Halloween themed race... YAY for jack-o-lantern medals!

The girl at this station asked if we wanted any props... I looked at her and said that I had enough ;) 

My record in front of a giant record!

So, a lot of folks have asked about running with the foam core on my back. Thankfully there wasn't much wind on the morning of the race, so I didn't feel any type of extra drag from it. Funny story though, apparently my pony tail was rubbing on it for 13.5 miles (not sure where I picked up the extra distance unless the course really was long), that it made a portion of my hair into dreadlocks! I had some big chunks that had painted foam core and bunches of hair wrapped around the pony tail holder and itself. I ended up having to cut some chunks out...

You can see the hole my hair rubbed in the board in this picture ;)

Yeah, even with tons of conditioner and detangle spray
this was NOT coming out on its own...

You can see where my hair and shoulders rubbed the board.
As you can see, I just painted a white piece of foam core
and added some elastic straps (like a book bag) - easy peasy!

All-in-all, I think it was a successful race. I didn't go in with super high expectations and it seemed to be exactly what I expected. The costume was a hit, but not everyone knew who Rosie The Riveter was (I think most folks thought I was just someone who was trying to be encouraging and motivational, which I was, but there was a point to the sign and denim jacket ;)). Two days later my knees are still a bit swollen and painful to the touch, but at least I can run without any additional pain.

Any race that I do with my hubby is a WIN in my book!

Have you ever dressed up for a race before?

3 comments:

Jen Rawson said...

Seriously loved your costume! So cute and I "got it" the second I saw it.
I like out and back courses when I know other people on the course too.

Megan Johnston said...

You are the cutest. Props for running with a board on your back! :)

Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes said...

Serioulsy, the best costume EVER. Love it!!