Monday, April 28, 2008

La Jolla Half-Marathon

EVENT: La Jolla Half-Marathon
DATE: Sunday, April 27, 2008
LOCATION: Del Mar & La Jolla, CA
RACE BEGAN: 7:30 am
FINISH TIME: 02:10:46

Part 2 of 3 of the Triple Crown.

The idea of running the hilly La Jolla Half-Marathon had been looming for months, and when the morning finally rolled around, it decided to warm up to an unusual 85 degrees.

Tea Time: Yeah it was one of those mornings that required no warmup wear. I wore one anyways and had to take it off shortly after I got to the startline.

The day before, I had taken the Amtrak to my sister's (Tea Time) place in Orange County and drove the rest of the way to Del Mar in San Diego. We stayed at a really nice place that was just across the street from the start. As we stood in the starting corral, I was just hoping to come in under 2 hours and 15 minutes. I was taking into account the heat, hills, and the fact that I had to run without my beloved iPod because they were supposedly "prohibited."

Tea Time: This was Julie's first time taking a Amtrak train. She thought it was going to be worse than what it was. I think she actually enjoyed the ride. We headed to the Corner Bakery for breakfast after I picked her up and from there we headed down to Del Mar. Lucky for us the 5 was free flowing that day. Yeah, it sucked that they printed that MP3 and Ipods were prohibited but half the people at the startline had them on. I'm pissed about that because I could've really used some music during some of those difficult miles.

There were two starts for the race, one at 7:30 for those running 8-min/mi or faster, and another at 7:40 for everyone else. Knowing that people never follow the rules, I broke it and started in the first wave. And good thing, too, because I later heard that for some of the runners toward the back, they had run out of water at some of the water stations. The water stations themselves were lacking to begin with (at every 2.5 miles or so)!!

Tea Time: There is also something very unnerving about being served electrolyte beverages that had been mixed in a large trash can. I was so thirsty and hot that I drank it anyways. The things I do out on the race course. :s

The first few miles went well. I was running comfortably at around a 9-min/mi pace. As I reached the fourth mile, I had to walk because of a hill, and I pretty much walked all of miles 5-7 as we headed into Torrey Pines State Reserve.

Tea Time: Oh man, you could feel the heat as you ran. Even from the start. I guess we were lucky it was dry heat and not humidity. I knew it was going to be a tough run. The course was really beautiful and it would probably be more pleasant had it been cooler. The miles through Torrey Pines was very challenging. I tried to run but walked about a mile. I honestly didn't hate it. It was such a good feeling to get to the top. Some of the down hill part was too fast but who am I to complain about that.

Miles 8-9 were really rough on me because not only was I out of gas, but dehydration was rearing its ugly head. I was breathing very quickly to flush out some of the heat, but nothing worked. I looked for shade, tried to fan myself, and thought about taking my shirt off, but honestly, the heat was unbearable. I tossed water cups on myself... my shoes got wet and then instantly dried up again.

Tea Time: Hmm, I have no recollection of these miles. The heat was starting to get to me at this point as well. I was dumping half the water on my head and drinking the other half. People had their hoses on and was spraying it at people and I tried to run under all of them. It was THAT hot, because I normally don't like to get water on me when I run.

Mile 10-11 or so was downhill with a nice ocean view. I ran this mile in 8 minutes. The rest I basically ran/walked, because the hills kept coming in a psychologically-damaging way. The very end was a sharp downhill, and I was practically dancing as I crossed the finish line. I grabbed my medal and basically left the place as soon as possible. That was probably the toughest race I've ever done, not counting the marathons.

Tea Time: These miles came slow. I thought I was going to die. Way too hot for a day in Spring. Overall, a challenging course but nice scenary. Don't know if I will get to do this again since there are so many races out there to try. But I thought it was nice and the ribbon was blue and the medal was round!! It takes so little to please me. :)

Overall, I am not too disappointed with the outcome. And I think I need to give kudos to myself for doing it without my crack... er, I mean, music. Pace was 9:59/mi, some miles run in 8 min/mi, some at more like 12 due to the 4-5 miles of walking I did. One of these days, I am going to get a huge PR somewhere... stay tuned for that.


Here are some "borrowed" photos! :)


  1. That was a brutal day. Congrats on making through the heat and hills. It was my first Half and if they are all like the La Jolla Half, forget about running another one. :-)

  2. Wow 85' in May is a bit much!

    Congrats on your race - ofcourse for me (Seattle person) anything over 70' is way too hot!