Monday, October 26, 2015

LA Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon - DTLA

The LA Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon was on my list of races to run for 2014 (the last time I made such a list) but unfortunately, a sprained fibula caused me to abandon plans half way through and I had to bail on the Long Beach half and the Rock n Roll as well. Well this year, I didn't draft up any crazy plans but was running a little bit here and there for fun and when someone sent me a discount coupon for the RnR-LA a few weeks ago, I said, why not do one for fun without too much training or planning and also because it would seem weird to let a whole year go by without any races (or blog posts on here, as a consequence). As it turns out, I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome:

Overall Place: 543 out of 7774 Finishers
Age Group Place: 86 out of 573
Chip Time: 01:47:35
Avge Pace: 8:13

This is a little puzzling because my pace on this race was better than flatter courses I've run in past and with a lot more training and discipline leading up to the race day. The only things that were in favor here was the weather (it was cloudy and a perfect 70 degrees) and the fact that the start line was a 10 min drive from my home (so less race day overhear anxiety?). Aside from that, the race route was changed from a flat course to one that had us going up and down the same hill (bunker hill in DTLA) twice, once at mile 7 and once again at mile 11 -- but, that didn't seem to make a difference to me (at least not going into the race) because I did not have any expectations for a finish time (Mentally I was happy to just keep my sub-2hr half marathon streak). I was also nowhere close to the shape I've been in on some past half marathons and yet, I wasn't all dead at the end of the race (as I had expected to be).

So what do I make of this and what do I take away from it?
1. There definitely is such a thing are overtraining and chasing a goal too hard. Almost like the benefit curve tapers off and then start to curve back down, as you start to train too hard or focus on a goal too much.
2. If I can get away with less-than-recommended training for a half marathon, can I do the same for a full marathon? (something that has prevented me from considering running one so far).
3. Should I get back to chasing my goal of a sub-1:40 half marathon? (too bad the long beach half just passed by for this year and REVEL is too close)

Food for thought!