Race Week: Hollywood Half Marathon

Starting to get the race day jitters and, as always, feeling like I’m a day late on starting my prep. Start hydrating! Sleep more! Stop working out! Take Juven! I may actually be a day late in this case because the Hollywood Half is held on a Saturday. I actually think I prefer this as then I have the whole weekend to recover and relax, and Saturday isn’t spent prepping. Why aren’t more races held on Saturday?!?

Though I feel like I’m a little behind on race prep, I did manage to stop at The Salvation Army to buy a cheapo jacket (plus three) for pre-race temp survival.

I'm going with the purple one as it's rain-resistant.
I’m going with the purple one as it’s rain-resistant.

Not only are we going through a cold spell (ha!) here in LA, we also had a little rain yesterday.

Look closely...it's a puddle!
Look closely…it’s a puddle!

Here is the forecasted race day temp including what the morning temp should be around. The race has an early start time of 6:00 a.m. so it’ll definitely be brisk beforehand.

Pretty fucking ideal.
Pretty fucking ideal.

This is my third time running the Hollywood Half. In 2013, I ran it in 2:03:06, and last year, I did it in 1:58:57, so this year…

My concern is the condition of my legs and how thrashed they may or may not be. This is not my “A” race and falls in the middle of marathon training, so there’s been no taper for me. I’m coming off a high mileage week (45) and am three weeks removed from a 22-mile long run. My worry is the lack of recovery time, and the prospect of running a race on dead legs. I had a tempo run yesterday, and albeit, it was cold and wet, but I could never get warmed up and never felt great. It was a mental and physical struggle the whole damn way. The goal was to run 6 miles total, with 4 at 9:00 pace, and my times were 8:58; 8:58; 9:03; 8:35. On top of the shit weather conditions (or because of), my iPod gave out! Argh. I also have been experiencing some lower back and hip tightness, which I’ll definitely be addressing with more Pilates after the half, but as for now, I noticed on my run this morning that it took me about a mile to loosen up. Not cool.

So given this information, my goals for this race are the following:

“C” – 2:04-2:09. I would be disappointed to not hit this. It’s not an especially challenging course (mostly flat but with weird hairpin turns), and even if my legs are dead tired, I still should be able to match my Surf City time from a couple months ago when I hadn’t been training that long.

“B” – 1:58-2:03. This would put me in between my 2013 and 2014 times. I guess this would be fine. Le sigh.

“A” – Sub 1:57:57. That would mean a new half marathon PR for me, and frankly, I don’t see why this shouldn’t happen. The only thing standing in my way is improper race strategy and leg fatigue.

I prefer a calm race week, and it is pretty much that except for one random thing – I got called in for jury duty! I am trying my hardest to get dismissed, and on reporting day, I showed up wearing this bag and an Ali sweatshirt. After being assigned a courtroom, I was given a questionnaire about the case, and I’m fairly confident that my brutally honest responses should get me dismissed tomorrow when I report back in. Ha.

My New Inquiry Misandry tote. Valentine's Day Limited Edition.
My New Inquiry Misandry tote. Valentine’s Day Limited Edition.

Anyway, I’m nervous, excited, and curious to see where my conditioning is this late in my marathon training. I leave you with my series of race photos from 2013, which is when I tripped over the finish line and almost pantsed the runner in front of me. Pick your feet up!

Second base AND a medal? #winning
Second base AND a medal? #winning

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