|Crossing the line with a new PR.|
The second of our two "Holiday Break" events was the New Year's Race Los Angeles (subtitle: L.A. at Night). This was on January 4, and to date it is the most difficult course I've run. It was also a heck of a lot of fun, as it passed through all kinds of L.A. landmarks incluing Chinatown, Olvera Street, and the highlight of the race, Dodger Stadium. Of course, the downside of running through Dodger Stadium is that it's located in Chavez Ravine, which is Spanish for "The top of a really big friggin' hill that will beat the crap out of your legs if you try to run there." But we'll get to that in a minute.
|Doing the "Gibby" during the Dodger Stadium lap.|
The race started in downtown, and the first three miles or so were pretty comfortable. I'd settled into about a 9-minute per mile pace which is my norm for the half marathon. And then came the hill. Or, more accurately, series of hills that somehow didn't make it into the course elevation profile. Some
were steep, some were long, some were steep and long . . . the next four or five miles basically sucked. The only fun part of this stretch was the run through Dodger Stadium (literally . . . we ran around the warning track) which is definitely a career highlight for me. And as suggested by my
Side note: Neither Sully nor I are Dodger fans, but we appreciate baseball history. Though we have much different perspectives on the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry. I'm right, he's wrong, we'll leave it at that.
But back to the race.
Once the hillaciousness (copyright pending) subsided, I was able to get back to my normal pace but by then a sub-2:00 was out of the question. Pressure off, I enjoyed the rest of the race, finished in a respectable 2:04:41, and got a really blingy medal for my efforts. Theresa met me at the finish line (right in front of Staples Center), having completed the 5K in a fantastic time. We had a late dinner at Yard House (the burger-and-fries tradition again), and we happened to catch the end of the Kings-Canucks game on the television and witness the postgame hoopla first hand. Kings 3, Canucks 1. Great night all around.
Tune in again soon, for the recap of my next race . . . Rock 'n' Roll Arizona on January 19th. See ya then!