Monday, January 11, 2010

13.1 Marathon; Los Angeles

P1010465Last month the organizers of the 13.1 Marathon contacted me, would I be interested in running the inaugural race and giving away a race entry; you bet I was! This would be my third run of the week after a short tempo run on Wednesday, I took Thursday, Friday and Saturday off. This is actually the first road race in 15 months, the one prior was in November 2008 and my second since the LA Marathon in March 2008. It’s been a while!

I had a plan, had! 10 miles at 8 minute miles then 3 miles at 7 minute miles or as close to it as I could, had! In the end you could sum this race up as; I went out too fast, way to fast.

My splits tell the story way better than I can:

131Marathon Can you see where the wheels fell off, can you hear them falling off!

So what did I learn?

*Stick to the plan but be flexible; I actually realized by mile 3 I was off so I switched it to a steady state run. I knew the last three miles were going to be hard, it was warming up and my legs are not what they used to be, not surprising after 7 weeks of training blah blah blah.

*I need a lot more leg strength! Wes commented on my last post that as you age you loose muscle mass, I need to work on that…a lot!

*I need a lot less body weight…more of that this week!

*The reality is it’s actually my longest run since September, the first 10 miles (1:17:21) were quicker than my last 10 miles two weeks ago (1:18:20) by 59 seconds…so that’s good. And I would have bested my existing 10k PR as well!

*I discovered that I run a lot better (read easier) when I am step with someone, maybe I need a training buddy?

*I need to get some street running clothes! I had lots of Salomon or Atayne but I need some shorty shorts and a singlet!

*Having folks scream and shout at you, especially ones you know makes it a lot more fun; check out these lunatics!

Danica (ChicRunner) and Billy (LARunner) cheering me and 2670 other people on!

As I was comp’d the entry, it’s only fair I write some about the event. It was the inaugural running of the race and I have to say it was excellently executed. There was a big turnout with 2671 runners running the Half Marathon and more still (I can’t find a number?) running the 5k. This meant that the area around the start line was a little chaotic for parking, but that’s Santa Monica and Venice for you; parking is hard at the best of times. There was a great vibe at the start and not the annoying too loud music, a runner sang the National Anthem and even though it’s not mine it always sends a shiver down my spine! There where plenty of photographers and videographers; fingers crossed I get a decent photo (not holding my breath!), there were well stocked Aid Stations roughly every mile and there were a lot of volunteers. There was no expo and packet pick was the three days prior; this can be good and bad but it worked out really well for me, but there was a finish line party, plenty of food and drink, a couple of local clinics were even doing massages! A nice tech shirt; but shame about the color (black) and a fancy piece of bling. Overall it was a lot of fun so if there is one local to you check it out! You can find other reports from Penny, Nina and June soon if not already.

Billy Danica LA Bloggers…nobody wanted to get that close to me; I was pretty icky at this point

So when it’s all said and done I had said before that I was aiming for between 1:40 and 1:45, I chiped at 1:43:26 and placed 40 out of 186 in my age group, it was a solid-ish opening race to the season; I got some reminders and I got some lessons and I got to see some friends who I normally only chat to on Twitter or through Blogs and Facebook. So all in all a great way to spend a Sunday back to the training plan!


  1. I think you ran a great pace! Congrats.

  2. Very nicely done, you nailed your goal range perfectly. Plus, you got to hang with ChicRunner...bonus!

  3. Nice write-up and good racing. It reminds me of my pacing during Philly marathon - the flat sections at the beginning got best of me and blew up my race plans. Sounds like the pacing is something that is hard to learn and we tend to be more optimistic in the first half of the race ;-).

    Good to see you back on the roads.

  4. YAY! Thanks for the shoutout Sheik one! :) You did great and sometimes even though the wheels fell off, you can see where they fell off and learn from it! Nice work Stuart!

  5. SO glad to see you running on the road again Stuart! Let's do the at CHALLENGE now, shall we? (help!)

  6. Stuart - I think once you get your endurance back and get some longer runs in, you will shatter this time. Great seeing ya again and continued luck + success with the FIRST plan!

  7. Congrats Stuart! I guess its like a bicycle, you don't forget how to run!

  8. Strong return to road racing! Looks like there was some fun there as well. Congratulations!

  9. Great to see you man! Nicely done, regardless of your plan. :)

  10. awesome job out there!!! congrats on your first road race back :)

  11. Looks like you stuck close to your plan just flipped flopped the start and end.

    NICE turn out for it being the first year.

    Cheers to the first event of 2010.

  12. dude, solid run in my book - especially when you factor in the not-so-great last few months of '09 you had. like you said, longest run since september, and a 1:43 ain't bad at all.

    sorry i missed out on getting to meet you, but thanks for the win! (sorry i had to pass it on but i'm glad it went to good use)

  13. Congrats on the race, and great pics!!! :) Happy to see you racing again!

  14. I have just started getting into running and have challenged myself to run my first marathon. I was wondering if you had any tips for someone that is trying to go from couch to marathon in a year or so?

  15. Well done. With the way that you are training it certainly seems that you have the speed in your legs to run a lot faster than this. As you say things tailed of later so speed endurance just needs a little bit of work.

    Overall though a great time for a first road race in so long...keep at it.

  16. Nice job! It was definitely a fun race...and I agree about having a training buddy...I am ALWAYS down for a run :-)


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