“The fastest half marathon I’ve run”. That’s how I might describe my experience running Rock n Roll Half marathon with Pavement Runner this weekend. I am not talking about time – our average pace was 10:41! – I’m talking about perceived time. This race flew by and I have never been more sad for a race to end.
It started a few months ago when Brian and I discovered we were running the same race. We were gratified to have the chance to meet since we have been friends for quite some time via our blogs and social media. After a few conversations, we decided to make this race a slow down challenge, and that we would run at a conversational pace, enjoying the costumes, music and fanfare.
On Saturday morning my Mom came over to watch the kids, while my husband and I went to the Expo at the LA Convention center. I was impressed by the volume of staff that Rock N Roll has on hand to help you get your race bib and shirt, which, by the way, was a Brooks technical version. Very happy with that!
After getting my bib, we went into a sea of vendors. Many were old time favorites, but also some surprising new ones. It was great to see companies like Dave’s Killer Bread (which by the way, has become sort of addiction in our house) and other healthy food companies. I think they see that a good number of us runners fuel with local, organic whole foods. After eating my way through the bread samples, I stumbled upon my favorite beverage, Nuun and my Hood to Coast family members Jeff and Jeantel (two of our drivers for the HTC relay) working the hydration booth. It was amazing to reconnect with them.
The next morning I woke up extra early to get my batgirl costume on and to make sure I ate a good breakfast… Race day day pre-run meal: Mix My Own (A cereal you create yourself by selecting your own mix) and a Raspberry smoothie made with Complete Truth protein. Recently, I’ve been seeing a lot about heavy metals in protein powders, and this one is truly all natural.
Rob and I left at 5:30am (once again my Mom came over to watch the kids). It takes a village, and I sure am grateful to have a Mom who loves us so much! We parked and headed to the starting line area. I met Brian just before the race started. We hopped into our corral and before we knew it, the National Anthem was being sung and we were off.
Brian had two friends with him Linzie and Michael. Over the course of 2 plus hours, I was fortunate enough to get to know these incredible guys. Our first landmark was running through the USC stadium.
Then we hit up the Thriller Zombies:
Next up, a tunnel that Rock N Roll turned into something that looked like a nightclub… so freakin’ cool!
There were great bands playing all along the course. Having good music and seeing all of the crazy costumes made the time fly! Before we knew it we hit the turn around and headed toward the finish line.
I can’t remember a race more fun, relaxed, or full of wonderful company. I felt like I was on a training run with friends. I don’t know why I have never run a race like this. When you slow down, you can just enjoy every detail and moment, things I most certainly would have missed otherwise. We definitely got our money’s worth, and this was a great race to run in this fashion, what with all of the costumes and music. I had such a nice time, I am bugging Brian that we need to plan another race or relay.
I want to thank Brian, Linzie, and Michael for allowing me to join them. I had such a wonderful time!
Have you ever run a race for fun, no pressure at a conversational pace?