Palos Verdes Marathon Race Recap

{Lost all my pics so it’s a picture-less recap}

Race morning I got up at 4am, showered, had my coffee and then stretched it out.  I left the house at 5:15 and arrived at the race a little after 6am.

I knew this race would be very hilly so I made sure to start slow and pace myself.  Plus I knew there was a monster hill at mile 2.  This course was absolutely gorgeous; almost all of it was ran along the waterline.  But it was hilly: steep hills, rolling hills, long hills.  But of course with every hill comes a nice decline.

I started the first couple miles around 8:30-9min/miles.  I kept telling myself that I was just going to run for fun and to not stress about time.  I really focused on pacing myself well because it was a mostly out and back course ie I knew when there was a 1 mile downhill at mile 4, I’d later be running up it at mile 21.

I took a Powerbar Vanilla gel at mile 9 that they were handing out.  It was disgusting, way too sweet and really liquidy.

I crossed the half in 1:46 and took my second GU at mile 14.5.  I felt good, I wasn’t pushing that hard but I was pacing well and picking people off that started way too fast…  which is what I normally do.

Miles 13-17ish were ran through a residential area near the ocean.  If I had to guess, I’d say the first half was more downhill than the second half, but I don’t really know.  I basically gave myself permission to take each hill as slow as I needed to.  GU #3 was taken at mile 18.5.  There was the killer 1 mile climb around mile 21, and I slowly powered up it because I knew that steep hill beginning the race, I got to fly down at mile 24.  I took my 4th GU at mile 22.

The last 2 miles were pretty flat, a few rolling hills so I pushed as hard as I could just to be done.

I finished in 3:31:17 according to the clock (there wasn’t chip timing).  I finished 39th overall, 4th woman overall and 2nd in my age division.

I am really happy with this race, not because of my time but because of how I paced myself.  Starting slower gave me energy to finish strong, and I never bonked, hit a wall or anything.  It was hard but I didn’t get that “Someone please kill me and put me out of my misery” at mile 21-26 like I normally do.

My past 2 marathons, LA and Pendleton, I really struggled the last 5-6 miles.  Like mentally fell apart.  But this race was completely different and I think it’s because I didn’t charge out from the gate way too fast.  Also, another thing I did was take the downhills as time to rest and recover rather than scream down them trying to make up time.

*A side note: after the race 3 older guys came up to me and complimented me on my running.  “You passed me at 18 and I thought I’d catch up to you but never did.  Strong finish!” They were so friendly and complimentary that we stood around talking about different races we’ve done for probably 10-15 mins.

And it got me thinking, I need to encourage other runners and people more.  Something as simple as a telling someone else “great race!” can be really uplifting and you remember that.

I always try to thank the person I’m grabbing water from, but what about all the other volunteers?  I think I sometimes get so into “my race” that I forget about everyone around me.  And that’s lame.  My race, in the end, doesn’t matter at all.  But if I can make someone else feel good about themselves?  Now that’s way more important.

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