Friday, June 17, 2011

Race Report Throwback Edition: Malibu Half Marathon 11/10

Happy Friidaaayyy!  I was running today (I've been taking a break from workouts last couple weeks...just running like 40 minutes a day...too much life and body stress lately) and I was thinking it might be fun to post a couple old race recaps from before I started blogging.  
This one is from Malibu Half Marathon in November 2010.  Not my finest moment, but I hope it makes ya laugh!  Sorry if you know me in real life and read this a long time ago.  

Without further ado.....take yourself back to 2010....before we had flying cars and robots.....
::swwwwiiissshhhh!::  (time travel noise)

Malibu Half Recap
I am being way overly dramatic, but I thought that an unexpectedly bad race would make for a funny write up !  Please take this all with a grain of salt, as I have been lucky to not be injured and have decent races that went smoothly for the last couple years.  This was a definite reality check!  

I decided to run the Malibu half bc they offered a Groupon for it  - and being the deal searcher that I am, I signed up.  

The day of reckoning occurred this morning and I woke up to a welcome alarm at 5:15 AM.  Walked out the door and thought “wa oh...” it’s already like 65 degrees out.  This did not bode well for my preferred method of racing (40 degrees...polar bear style...).  Made the 70 mi trip up to Malibu and realized that the giant traffic jam on the PCH had to be where the race started.  It was 7:00 AM and the buses left to take us to the start at 7:30.  No problem, right?  Wrong.  Unfortunately the dude taking the parking tickets was dead set on making sure as few runners as possible made it to the race.  Usually parking attendants have things like dollar bills for change, and parking tickets for your dashboard.  This guy apparently could only handle about 5 at once so he would go and get more every 5th car or so.

The bus took us 13 miles North and are dropped off at “point random, Malibu” at about 8:00 AM and immediately my heart sinks.  I’d been holding it for the last two hours in hopes of one glorious bathroom stop once we arrived.  Unfortunately there were about 15 porta potties for about 6000 people. 

 I began the wait...

Around 8:30 I finally was at the front of the line!  I go really fast - unfortunately we all were using toilet seat covers since they have run out of toilet paper.  Nooooooo.....!   

I hear cheering from the inside of the Potty and think “huh...they started the race”.  In a panic, I run out, throw my bag in the truck for bag check, and start my race.  About 1:30 into it, I realize that I didn’t recall seeing a chip timing station that marked the start.  I ask the lady next to me, who barely speaks english, if we passed the chip station.  She says “yessss” and I think “come on can't I catch a break here!!”.  

I turn around and run the .2 mi back, with people calling to me “you’re going the wrong wayyyyy!”.

Take 2
 I get back to the start and restart my watch, and start my race...for real this time!  The first time was just a tryout!  I start making my way through the entire crowd.  I have never genuinely been at the actual back of a race, and there were actually people walking with canes!  I say this not to make fun of them, but to give props to ANYONE who has the patience to walk 13 miles with a cane.  

The next three miles go somewhat uneventfully although I started to have the sneaking suspicion that I was not feeling so good. Also, the weather was starting to get really hot  - I think it ended up around 80 F.  There was literally no shade during the whole race as well.  For some reason, Malibu seemed to think it was unnecessary  to have water stops more than every 2 mi and visible mile markers, so mile three was the first one I actually saw.  They were also giving out Coconut water?  What on earth?   It is not delicious!  I checked my watch at mile 3 and I was at a 7:20 pace.  I think - “no wonder you feel bad - you are going out too fast.”

I slowed it up a bit, but for whatever reason it was all over at this point.  By around mile 6-7, I was about to quit.  I didn’t because I knew it would be just out of pride of not wanting to post a bad time, not because of some genuine physical aliment. Still, it’s amazing what goes through your head at these times.  I was beating myself up over going out too fast, and crazy thoughts like tellings myself I was stupid to not wear sunscreen - how would anyone ever want me if I looked like the shriveled up lady from “there’s something about mary” and didnt even have fast race times to impress!!! 

I also got very angry about volunteers and how slow they were handing out water!  Not logical, I know...I finally sucked it up and told myself to just be happy to be running.  

Around mile 10, I met up with my friend Josh who made the race ok again.  We were able to pace each other and grumble about the bad races we were both having as well.  

The last three miles were actually ok.  I finished and I think it was somewhere around 1:46:00.  Hard to say though, since they also didn’t seem to think it was important to have a clock at the end of the race!  Definitely not a time I am super happy about, but something to remind me to train a little harder and make sure to figure out race logistics next time!  

The race expo at the end had more Coconut water.  And Icelandic yogurt.  Very strange stuff, very strange.  

So that brings me to “lessons learned”:  
- Keep expectations low
- Always go out slow
- Train with more consistency
- Make sure you actually CROSS the start line :)

That's all :). 


  1. Great recap! Made me laugh.

    Reminds me of when I did the us half in san Fran last year. I was waiting in line for the port o john which coincidentally the line was right in the middle of the race route-like 500 feet from the start. The gun went off and suddenly all the runners were running towards us. I ditched the line and ran backwards towards the start so I could get timed. Sheesh!

  2. Favorite quote from the recap: "It is not delicious!" (meaning coconut water)
    That is certainly true!!! Makes me feel like a giant curdle or something. Yuck!

  3. fun idea -- and amazing memory! I'm a little confused as to how you didn't pass the start...I think I need some sort of illustration. And the real lesson: be brave enough to do your business behind a tree. I never show up to races early enough to make it through a port-o-potty line, so I just go wherever I can. eh.

    p.s. UCLA was undergrad...they waitlisted me for law school :( I went to UC Hastings in San Francisco for law school. I love UCLA though -- how was your program!?

  4. it's too bad you don't have a garmin because then you could have knocked the extra 0.2mi off your time you know since the course was measured wrong and you ran an extra 0.3516464mi plus d=rt and all that complicated geometry and satellites and stuffs hehehehehehehe :D :D :D

  5. I have learned that lesson about keeping your expectations slow...because sometimes if you have high goals and then you don't reach them then you are disappointed, so keep it real and you will do great! Good job!

  6. Hi! I just found your blog through SR and just wanted to say that I did the Malibu half last year too (an hour slower than you though!) and totally agree with your race recap. They didn't do the start well (couldn't hear the PA system at all), coconut water is disgusting, and I thought the finish line food was pathetic. Oranges and pop chips? I'm looking for a bagel, yo.

    As pretty as it was running along the coast, it was very hot, the hills into Malibu were killer, and I wouldn't fly from CO to do this race again.