Thursday, June 14, 2012

Valley Crest Half Marathon Race Recap

Exercise: Week in Workouts

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 2.5 mile walk, 1 mile swim
Wednesday: 12 mile bike ride
Today: 22 mile bike ride w/2000 feet of climbing

Better late than never, right?

Sunday morning I woke up at 6am as usual. Actually, lately, that's sleeping in which may be a first for race day. I had laid out my gear the evening prior so I dressed and ate a casual breakfast of half a bagel and a little granola and yogurt. Then it was a quick drive to the start; like less than 10 minutes.

Music Man dropped me as close to the start as possible at around 7:20. The line for the porta potties was pretty long so I waited for that until 7:45 then got my race shirt and checked it in the gear check area. Super fast and easy. And I was off to the start line by 7:50. The race was supposed to begin at 8 and I think it started about 10 minutes late but I'm not sure because my phone crashed and the battery died! Love my Evo but may be time for something new. I did have my Motoactv but had it set to go so didn't check the start time.

The race begins at the base of a very steep hill. I made sure I was at the very back because I knew from experience that it was best for me to walk the hill as a warm up and focus on running when I got to the top. Everyone at the back was very friendly and talkative but almost none of them had run the course before and found themselves daunted by the hill ahead of them and the hilly elevation to come.

Something that surprised me was a few people asked me if the run is hard. These are the only trails I run so my response is that the course is average. But there are a few killer hills so maybe it's on the harder end of average? But really, it's a trail half marathon. 13.1 hilly, gravely, sandy and hot miles. Even without the trail aspects it's still a half marathon.  And I don't know about you but that distance, no matter the circumstances, is never easy. So asking if a race is hard is totally lost on me. I wonder what the front runners' responses would be ;)

As I said the course is hilly, sandy, gravelly but absolutely beautiful. The temps were a little warm but about 65 at the start and a bit below 75 at the finish. There were 3 aid stations on the course offering Gatorade and water.  Since I was wearing my Camelbak I had plenty of water but I had a hard time getting to my sports beans in the back pocket so I was so grateful that the Gatorade was plentiful. I walked through every aid station in order to drink 2 cupfuls.

Before I began running I kept telling myself I needed to focus on running smart, not fast, because of the pain I've been dealing with lately. As I said before I walked up the first hill, walked through the aid stations and kept a reasonably slow pace. I also decided to slow down anytime I felt soreness, no reason to push through pain. The Motoactv shows my time as 2:30:34 for 13.35 miles and my official finish time was 2:29:59 (no timing chips at this race) Woo! Just under my 2:30:00 goal. Looking at my average pace of 11:16 my actual 13.1 finish would be around 2:27:30. No matter what, I'm totally happy with my time.

And I'm totally happy with this race. It was a beautiful course with friendly runners and volunteers, super organized and it was close to home. I probably wont be running it next year but I have already decided to be a volunteer.

How is it already almost the weekend again???!!! Have a great rest of your week.


  1. Wow, you did awesome! Your finish time is very close to my best time doing a 1/2 that was not really hilly at all :). I saw your picture of your ankle from your falls and I was thinking that you were falling when you were running, but then I saw that it was bike riding! Clips will work much better for you!

  2. Hi Lauren, I read your blog for the first time today. I love it. Great job in the Valley Crest! You are a speedster. We will be running the Bulldog this year again so we'll see you there. I am only running the 25K Rambo is running the 50k. This is Denise from bookclub by the way.

  3. Hi Denise! I've looked at Contrary Mary, love you're garden progress. I'm doing the 25k too, so I'll look for you and Rambo ;)


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