Monday, October 25, 2010

Rock N Roll LA Half Marathon Weekend Race Report

Saturday Oct. 23, 2010

I was meeting my RP Melissa and her friend Laura, from Massachusetts, for breakfast at the Griddle Cafe in Hollywood before the expo. It was Laura's first time to LA and my first time to the Griddle Cafe. I had heard stories about some of the dishes they made and was excited to finally give it a try. We got an egg scramble thingy, red velvet pancakes and Nutella stuffed french toast. It was all very yummy! (Food porn pics below)
Egg Scramble Thingy

Red Velvet Pancakes

Nutella Stuffed French Toast

After breakfast we headed to the convention center and the expo. We got our bibs, t-shirts and goody bags and wandered around a bit. This expo was definitely not as crowded as San Diego in June, but there was a lot less people running this race. They even had registration open at the expo and when I asked about it, they said they only had 11,000 runners and that there would be plenty of people on the course for me to run with.  After a bit more shopping and strolling the expo, we decided it was time to leave and introduce Laura to cupcakes. We made our way to Frosted Cupcakery in Hollywood. After a few minutes we walked out with 8 cupcakes between us. As we were heading back, we brought up the phenomenon in LA know as "Food Trucks". So on our way back we were searching twitter looking for a food truck so Laura could see what we were talking about. We found the Calbi BBQ truck and they were just getting parked and open for business. That was my first time having their food and it was good. I got back to my car and made the trek back to the Valley.

Sunday Oct. 24, 2010

Race Day!
I got up at 3:15am to be out the door by 4am. I drove down in full costume and got a funny look from the woman taking my money in the parking garage. I waited for Melissa and Laura to show up and when they pulled up, the look on Laura's face was priceless! I guess she didn't know how serious we were about the Elvis costumes. After chatting for a few minutes, we took a couple of pictures and headed off to the shuttles.
Laura looks a bit uncomfortable with the Elvi
We walked right onto a shuttle and it immediately headed for Griffith Park. We made the 1/2 mile walk to the starting corrals from where the shuttle dropped us off. We grabbed a bagel (grossest bagel ever), water and found some of the Start Training OC people. We stood around, talked and people watched for the better part of an hour. About 7 am, we headed to our corral, corral #2, and continued to wait for the race to start. We took several pictures with strangers and after the singing of the National Anthem, the race began.

Our original goal for this race was to have fun and not "race" it. I think in the back of my head, 2:30 was the pace I/we wanted to run. Melissa asked if we could pace her friend Adam to go 2:15 or less...I said sure, why not. As we got going, I felt like we were running at too fast of a pace. I looked at my Garmin, did the math and we were running at a sub 2 hour pace. I knew that I wasn't in shape to run that pace for 13.1 miles.

At mile 5 we saw the guys from our running store, A Runner's Circle, and some of them ran with us for 1/2 mile or so. We started to slow the pace down to a more comfortable pace. By now the sun had started to come out and it was getting a bit warm, especially in a polyester jumpsuit and wig. I started pouring water down the front and back of the jumpsuit to keep cool.  At mile 7 we started doing a run/walk interval and would continue that throughout the rest of the race. There were several hills on the course, ( LA has hills, go figure) and some we had to walk up. We finally made it into downtown and were in the home stretch. One last walk interval and we finished strong. The three of us held hands as we crossed the finish line. Official time: 2:13:16  We met up with Laura, who ran a new PR of 1:47, and off to the beer garden. I will say that Rock N Roll LA finish area was much more organized than San Diego, so hats off to them.
Melissa, Adam, Bob

We hung around for a bit, but Melissa and Laura had to get going...they were driving to San Diego to catch the NE Patriots vs SD Chargers football game. So we made our way to the parking garage and said goodbye. We did stop for one more picture...
Laura looks more comfortable with us now.
What a great weekend! I got to run a race with my running partner (in costume), met some new people, had some great food and paced someone to a new PR. Thank you Melissa and Laura for a great weekend! So what's next?  Nothing! I am going to take some time off for a few weeks and let my body recover. I hope to run a Turkey Trot with some of my tweeps on Thanksgiving and a 10K in December. Both will be "fun runs" and not races. The next big race for me will be the LA Marathon in March.

We did make the local newscast and you can see the video here.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Weekend Update

After working the last 3 weekends, I finally had a weekend off and planned a 6-8 mile run. My wife and I headed for Griffith Park, she headed out for a 90 minute walk and I decided to run the "6 mile hill loop". I started out and felt pretty good but by mile 4, my left knee was starting to ache. My knee was bothering me last week, but I thought that was from all the lifting and bending I did when my company moved. I took it easy the last 2 miles and by the time I was finished, it was really hurting. I met my wife at the car and we headed out to one of our favorite breakfast places. I had an awesome "Greek Island Omelette". It had feta cheese, spinach, kalamata olives, red onion, artichoke hearts and it was yummy.

When we got back home, I headed right for the laptop to watch the Ironman World Championships live from Kona, Hawaii. I was glued to my computer all day long watching the coverage and I didn't turn it off until 11pm when Chris Schauble crossed the line, sub 13 hours. Congrats Chris! So proud of you.

As I sat watching the Ironman feed, I made up to "cheer posters" for some of my friends racing today. Veronica was racing the Hudson Mohawk River Half Marathon in Albany, NY and my RP, Melissa and friend Dino were racing the Chicago Marathon. As I sit here writing this, I have already heard from Veronica that she finished and I am tracking Melissa online. Go Melissa Go!!!!

I'm going to give my knee a day off to see if it gets any better. I put on my knee brace this morning and it seems to be helping. Hoping to get back into the pool tomorrow morning for some much needed swimming.

Congrats to everyone on a great racing weekend!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

When Life Gets in the Way

The last few weeks have been quite challenging as life has gotten in the way of any training I had planned. After 33 years in one location, my company decided it was time to move to a larger location. After 2 months of planning, the day finally arrived and the moving trucks showed up and so we began the process of moving a dental supply company. The challenge was not only that none of us had ever moved a company before, but we had to be up and operational in the new facility in 4 days! Holy S&!t...That means, phones, computers and 20,000 SKU's had to be moved and put into place in 96 hours. Oh yeah, I forgot that it turned out to be the hottest weekend of 2010! When it was all said and done, it took us 4-1/2 days to move and become operational, we worked 13 days straight and 9 of those days were 12+ hour days. Needless to say...I didn't get any training done at all. I was too tired to drag myself to the pool at 5am and getting home after 9pm didn't bode well for a run. I was able to get my first run in last Thursday at A Runner's Circle Fun Run with my RP, Melissa. It turned out to be a "Not so Fun Run" as we were both hurting and found running to be difficult. My back, knee and ankle were hurting that running was just not comfortable. Out of the 3 miles we "ran", we walked about 1.5 miles of that.

So this week has been much of the same...I have not made it to the pool yet this week and may just take the week off. I will get in a 5 mile run on Thursday night and possibly 8 miles on Saturday. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am doing a limited training schedule through mid November when I start my LA Marathon training in full force.

One highlight from last week was I went to see Carrie Underwood at the Hollywood Bowl with my wife, Tina, Melissa and Ann. What a great show! Here is a little taste of the finale complete with fireworks. What a great way to end a couple of tough weeks!