13.1 Series LA Half Marathon Race Recap

Because a girl’s gotta have standards…

The alarm went off at 4am and I started race morning with my standard 2 large cups of coffee.  I was pretty excited to run this race to see what the 13.1 series was all about and if it lived up the Rock ‘n’ Roll races’ standards.

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Did my normal, standard race routine of stretching, clothing myself, wasting time, and whatever else I do in the wee hours of the morning.

I actually didn’t wear this skirt… I thought it would be fun (?!) while it was still dark to act like a boy and pee pee outside for some reason.  Well, I acted like a boy and missed my aim.  Needless to say, I had to change.  So I grabbed a pair of shorts and was out the door at 5:15am.


I got to Santa Monica a little after 6am and parked.  The “starting village” was pretty much just a standard parking lot with a few people milling around so I pretty much got there way too early.  But I did have time to take some pictures.  Above is the Santa Monica Pier.

I went against the standard by bringing my camera with my during the race.  I figured since I wasn’t running for time that it wouldn’t be too much of a hindrance.  You know how those 3 oz cameras can really slow you down when you’re trying to PR….

I had my standard pre-race meal – a Clif bar one hour before showtime.

This was at the start.  Sweet picture of the sunrise and palm trees, no?  I’ll probably foray into professional wedding photography next.

If you squint you can see the UCLA bear on the left in the white tank and blue shorts.  Or maybe it’s Teen Wolf?  Some really hairy dude?  I don’t know.

I planned to take this race easy because I knew my legs would be tired from yesterday’s (Saturday) race, and I’m running a full next weekend.

So my goal was to run it at BQ marathon pace, 8:23/mile which would be around a 1:49 finish.  But since I am HORRIBLE at pacing so I decided to stay between 1:45 and:

Starting the race.  We were supposed to start at 7:13, 13 being for the 13.1 series.  Good marketing except for that idea to be cool you need to start at 7:13 and not 7:20.  Just a thought, senior 13.1 series executives….

The first mile was down Venice Beach right along the water.  It was really pretty, at least the beach side was.  Venice is kinda janky ghetto.  I saw quite a few folks who looked like they hadn’t made it to bed yet at 7:30am.  And had major bedhead.

After mile 1, we took a left and started on the out and back part of the course.  I tried to settle into a nice, comfortable pace where I was still pushing a little but not dying.  Kinda the standard SR pace.

One cool thing they had was a video screen on the back of a truck that went by and taped us.  If you look on the left part of the screen, that’s me with my arm up taking a picture.  I’ve never seen this sort of thing in a race before… definitely not the standard.

Guess who else I saw?  The maniac Danica from chicrunner! She was with her friend Billycheering people on.  I don’t know what she’s doing running; she should be spending all her time modeling.  absolutely gorg.

So we get to the 6.5 mile turn around.  My legs are starting to feel a little tired at this point, and I’m hungry but otherwise good.  I didn’t bring a GU and wished I would have.  I tried to barter my camera for someone else’s gel, but apparently polaroid cameras aren’t cool anymore.  Neither are disposables.

Around mile 7 I started talking to a barefoot runner guy who ran 4 marathons last week! He decided to run this race just for fun – barefoot.  It was fun to trade race stories with him (I doubt my story of one single, lonely marathon really compared to his 100 mile races), and it made the couple miles go by really fast.  The one time I looked at my garmin, we were running a 7:52 pace.

We split after a few miles; I think his soles were probably beginning to resemble hamburger, and he had run more miles last week than I do in a month.  I didn’t catch his name, but it was fun talking to him.  Seeing someone run barefoot on Santa Monica’s POORLY paved roads made me feel relatively normal.

I kept going and was feeling good, pushing but not to exhaustion.

I tried to capture Ryan Seacrest’s face for you all…. because that’s the SkinnyRunner standard: running races with Ryan Seacrest in your face.

Near the end.  I think I’m perspiring a little.  It was getting a little warm by the end, high 60′s.  Of course, in Florida they were making snowmen so I shouldn’t complain.

The finish line!

On a side note: I’ve never seen so many race participants wear the race shirt while running that specific race.  Seriously everyone was sporting the black 13.1 shirt.  Again, I didn’t get the message of what’s “cool”….

My official time was 1:46:16, right on target for what I was shooting for. I was 34th in my division and 347th overall.

(Walking back to the car)

I’m happy with the race, but I didn’t kick at all at the end; I actually slowed up a little and took off my headphones.  Looking back, I should have finished strong instead of strolling in.  Oh well.  Definitely not going to make that practice the standard.

Oh and one more thing, since it’s LA and all, there better be some celeb sitings, right?

Well, I saw Jenn Shelton, an ultramarathoner who’s the “bad girl” of racing, running the race.

The only reason I noticed her fly by me was because she was wearing something similar to this, very skimpy:

But because she’s mega hardcore, super fast and runs 100 mile races like I run to the bathroom, she can rock it.


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