Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hollywood Half Recap

Exercise: 6.5 miles-9:13 avg pace
In all honesty, after attending the expo the day before the race I was certain the race was going to be a disaster. My experience with the expo was that the venue was WAY too small to accommodate the amount of runners racing. And the parking was beyond nightmarishly horrible. I waited over an hour to exit the parking garage and I had Little Man in tow. I thought arriving to the expo early was a good idea, apparently not. So my expectations for the race plummeted.

I hate to sound greedy but the loot bag was pretty lame for a $100 race. I expected more than prunes and vaseline ;) (I did pay extra for the tech t shirt and it is excellent. I wore it on my run this morning and it performed great. First time I've ever run in a race tee.) So I left the expo feeling unimpressed and underwhelmed.

For the race itself, I have to admit I loved it! It started at 6am and I arrived a bit after 4 and parking was perfect with an easy walk to the start. There were plenty of porta-potties, the corrals were easy to navigate and there was even a waiting area with heat lamps for runners to huddle around. I thought the 50* temp was perfect though.

The race was a wave start by corral and it was one of the quickest big race starts I've experienced so it was great. The nearly 3 mile downhill start is another story. I found it really hard not to go out too fast so I ran the first 3 miles at an average 7:55 pace which is way too fast for me. But even at that pace running down hill I felt like I was constantly putting on the brakes. When we got to the flats and the beginning of Hollywood Blvd my pace increased so this was definitely not a negative split race.

The flat portion had a few small inclines and plenty of water stations and it was pretty pleasant.  I had focused more on the elevation of the route rather than the map so I didn't realize I would get to run through Silver Lake and all the cute shops. That was really fun. And I tried my best to keep a conservative pace on the flat portions to save my strength for THE HILL. For the first 6 miles my pace was below 8:30 min miles but that all changed.

The course was an out and back route and unfortunately what goes down must then go up in the running world. The second half was difficult to say the least. The last 6 miles had a slowly increasing incline until the last 2 miles which was a 5% grade. Luckily we didn't have to run all the way back to the start because there was a much steeper hill on the way down.

Although my pace slowed with every mile the last half, this is what I trained for. That became my mantra as the hill became steeper and steeper. "This is what you trained for" was spewed from my lips with each achy exhalation. And when those around me started to walk I plodded along. I did not push 50 pounds of stroller 2 miles up hill during training for no reason. And I killed THE HILL. It hurt but I loved it with every bone in my body.

I finished in 2:07 which I'm pretty happy with. I keep thinking the time is too slow, I should have trained more, I should be faster. But I ran the whole thing and completed it so that's what matters right?

I was reading a lot of complaints on Facebook and although I agree with some I wanted to offer my opinion because it's my blog and I get to do that ;)

1. Water stations- I heard they ran out of cups towards the end. This was not a problem for me because I always run with hydration, just in case. But a race of this size should not run out of cups. I'm sure that will be changed for next year but maybe some of those people should also rethink their hydrating strategies... Just saying
2. THE HILL- some people want the course changed because the hill is too hard. Umm, maybe you shouldn't be running half marathons if you don't want running to be hard. Personally, I liked THE HILL. I felt hella ;) accomplished after finishing it. There are definitely some things that need work but for an inaugural race this one was pretty great.


  1. Go Lauren!!!! What hill is "The Hill?"

  2. They call the last 3 miles of the race "The Hill". It's Caheunga from Hollywood Blvd up to Lankershim. It was a beast!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...