Before I start, let me just post the elevation chart for this race:
No, your eyes do not deceive you. At 5.75 there is about a mile climb to 420 ft above sea level and we pretty much started at sea level.
I've been running hills in preparation for this race. Although I did know that the hills I was running were in no way comparable to the Torrey Pines entrance and I knew this was a hilly race and that I wasn't going into this for a PR. Apparently, as people have told me, you have your 1/2 marathon PR, then you have your La Jolla 1/2 marathon PR.
So the hills coupled with having a few bad asthma days leading up to this race led me to set my goal at finishing in under 3 hours. Mission accomplished as I finished in 2:49 and some change.
I won't lie, there was a lot of walking. Those bad asthma days made me cautious. I decided to keep my HR under 160 (I did get up to 185 once and 170ish more than once) in an effort to keep the lung work down. I also didn't want to burn my legs up 2 weeks before my first, probably only, Olympic Distance Tri of the season. Oh, and I have the Laguna Hills 1/2 Memorial Day weekend. That will be a breeze compared to La Jolla.
I started off the run with Denise, but broke up with her about mile 2ish, so I could keep my low effort plan in effect. One thing I didn't count on was how fast my HR rises. I think I was running 3 minutes, walking 1+, not counting the hills.
The best thing about this race is the views. You don't get to run alone the ocean for 13.1 miles, but maybe it's for4. The run through Torrey Pines is almost worth the climb, almost because it's too short, then you're into the commercial buildings. I can remember at least 3 times when I thought, this is why I live in California. I don't like hanging out at the beach. Everyone knows I get tan walking outside for 5 minutes slathered in sunscreen, so there's no need for laying out, but I do very much appreciate the cost and knowing I live on (or very close to) an ocean.
I couldn't believe that last small 1/2 mile climb at the end. I was done. I'm pretty sure I ran my shoes passed dead and my right knee and both hips are paying for it. Oh and did I mention the below the knee (I'm pretty sure it was below the knee) amputee chick that passed me about mile 10 and never looked back? Yeah, peeps who thought I was kidding about the challenged athletes kicking my ass, now you know.
The one thing I disliked about this race was the shuttle back to the start. It's a point to point and the shuttles kept getting stuck in traffic. They were supposed to be in a 15 minute rotation, and they may have averaged this, but it was more like 1 shuttle, then 40 minutes, then 3 shuttles. I'm sure some of the soreness I'm experiencing is because of this and the fact that I didn't realize they had gear check. It was more than an hour after the race when I got my Recoverite into me and I only sort of stretched afterwards, because I was always thinking the shuttle was right around the corner.
I think I might do this one again next year. I *would* think about parking a car in La Jolla and getting a hotel room with some peeps like Denise did. (Well, they got a hotel room near the start, I'm not sure they planted a car at the end).