Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Laguna Hills Half-Marathon

EVENT: Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half-Marathon
DATE: Monday, May 26, 2008
LOCATION: Laguna Hills, CA
RACE BEGAN: 7:00 am
FINISH TIME: 01:57:05

This race is formerly known as the Saddleback Memorial Day Half-Marathon. Saddleback/Laguna Hills was my very first race, and I basically finished 19 minutes faster this time.

So anyway, it had actually been drizzling during the hour before the race. Luckily, my sister, who was a spectator this time, let us sit in her car until we decided to hit the port-a-potties. The long lines caused us to reach the starting corral about a minute before we took off. The rain stopped.

The first mile was a little jammed as we ran through the Laguna Hills Mall parking lot. Since this race isn't all that big, the field cleared a bit starting at the second mile. I hammered the first two miles in 15 minutes. The hills in the first few miles were mellow. We reached some reserves, where the majority of the miles were, which started off downhill and then started going up and down for the rest of the race. At around mile 7, "someone" spotted me about to hit the turnaround point as well, and he cheered for me. I realized soon that I was only about 1/4 mile behind him.

The rest of the race's hills were more intense (basically having to run up all the downhills from the beginning), though in comparison to recent races were not much. Around mile 9, I was feeling exhausted and let up on my pace a little bit and even started walking for brief times to keep my energy and sore shin/calf in check. I had taken off my visor several times because I was starting to become uncomfortably warm and was trying different breathing techniques to get more oxygen to my stiff legs. Finally, I saw the finish line and tried my best to sprint to it, but I think at best I just ran to it quickly.

This was a PR for me (if you read one of my previous race entries, you will see that I had predicted this). I actually was not planning on doing so well and had long decided that I would just do this race to have a good time. This is actually my last race for a few months, which is good, because my three-week shin soreness is probably an indication of fatigue. I've done 5 races in the two months following a marathon... not good.

There was no medal awarded at this race, which is unfortunate, though they had a finisher's glass and good food such as Souplantation muffins and pizza from the California Pizza Kitchen. I was feeling too sick to eat too much but managed to get down half a banana and some muffin tops.

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