This whole week I was sort of dreading the race because I knew it was going to rain. My fault for not training in the rain. Then again the weather was reporting it to be “heavy” rain, not just any rain they emphasized the heavy. At the same time I knew I was still going to run the race because I trained and paid for it already. The day of the expo it wasn’t raining. My mom didn’t think it would rain because it was so clear, but towards the late afternoon those rain clouds came quickly.
The expo was pretty nice. There were booths from running stores, other races, local run clubs, and food companies giving out samples of their products. It reminded me of an RnR expo. The night before the race I slept early, but still my sleep tracker said I tossed and turned throughout the night. I know my mind was still on the fact that I’d be running in the rain, so that worried me a bit and probably caused me to be a bit restless. I am always worried that I’ll oversleep or wake up to late, but I got up in time. First mistake I made was not following the instructions of the race information and trying to get there by 6am. I thought since I was local to the area and it only usually takes me 20-30 minutes to get to the Rose Bowl that it would be ok to leave at 6am. I thought I was taking a shortcut by going this way I usually take to go to the Rose Bowl, but come to find out that they closed the street I usually go on because it was the part of the route we’d be running on. That turned into a fiasco of me having to get on to the freeway and not sure if I was going the right way then finding out I was going the right way because I got into this traffic jam of other people trying to get to the race. I guess some people were tired of waiting to get to the parking lot that I saw people get out of their cars to just run to the Rose Bowl from the freeway off ramp. I assume that they were getting dropped off or they came with family that were cheering them on. The race management actually apologized for the traffic delays, but not sure how it will be improved for the next year. The Rose Bowl is surrounded by lots of residential areas.
By the time I finished parking it was a little after 7AM. The race start till about 25 minutes after 7. My official start time was 7:34AM. The first 3 miles I knew were the hills. At first I was dreading the hills, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. In the race info it was stated it would be challenging, but I think the excitement of running my first half pushed out any negative feeling towards the hills. Also I didn’t really push myself running the hills. I just took my time and ran slower. What also helped was some of my training runs had some hills. After the 3 miles everything was pretty much flat. We ran on Colorado Blvd going through Old Town Pasadena. It was cool running on a street that I have frequented before. After we ran about 6 miles in the Pasadena area. We passed by the Pasadena Convention Center where the Expo was held the day before and passed by Caltech. Then we looped back around to get to run through the Colorado Bridge which was recently featured on the movie La La Land. I wasn’t planning to take any photos since it was raining, but I kept seeing lots of people taking photos on the Colorado Bridge, so after the loop going down I gave in a took a photo with the bridge in the background.
The last 3 miles were a bit challenging for me. Part of me contemplated walking part of the last 3 miles because I kept seeing other people walking, but at the same time I just wanted to finish already since it was raining. In the end I didn’t stop and kept telling myself that I was almost there. My legs were feeling good and I didn’t have any major pains so I just kept going. Though the last 3 miles felt like it took forever even though it really didn’t. I think because I have ran the Rose Bowl in the past I got this “am I there yet” feeling. Overall I liked this race minus the rain. My time was 2:37. It was about the pace I’ve been training this whole time. The real race was me trying to find my car. I think it was a good solid 15 minutes before I finally found my car. At that point it was pouring and trying to find your car after you’ve done 13.1 miles is sort of a hard task especially since I forgot where I parked. I’m glad I brought another change of clothes in the car because I was soaking wet. My Columbia rain jacket was pretty soaked too. I think the right way to go was running in a rain poncho. I saw a ton of people doing that and that was a smart idea. It was great that it wasn’t hot, but running in the rain isn’t all that cracked up to be. After the race my quads was really sore. I think it might have been the up and down hills that affected my quads. With the help of some self massage and Salonpas, I’m much better now. Shoot, but the first few days after the race, just getting out of a chair was a challenge.
Would I run the race next year? I probably would being that its a local race and I don’t have to go far, but I’ll have to see how I feel after this year. Being that its only my first half marathon I’m not sure what types of racing I’ll be planning to do. There also is that chance of it raining again next year. You never know what you get with this SoCal weather. I probably won’t be running another half marathon anytime soon, so we’ll see how I feel when sign-up time comes around for the 2018 race. Wow the bling for this race though is so nice. I think its the nicest and heaviest medal that I have. The free race photos were nice too. I know I’ve said this many time before, but its just so amazing how far I’ve come. From being the President of the “I Hate Running” club now to a half marathoner. Time for me to get me a 13.1 car magnet and milk it!