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Race Report: Half Marathon #5 for 2012

Sunday, November 04, 2012

I ran this race (Santa Clarita Half-Marathon) last year and today. The weather was the complete opposite. Instead of steady rain & in the 40s-50s F we had plentiful sunshine and temps rising from 50 to 70 F over the course of the race.

Like last year, I am still above the weight I prefer to be for racing (157 lbs this morning), but have concentrated on training vigorously the past month so felt in good shape to meet the demands.

The half-marathoners run with the full marathoners and the 5K folks run a completely separate course which I really like. I had an easy plan for what to wear since the weather today is similar to many days in the past few weeks, sunny and the high predicted for the 90s. I think the full marathoners probably had a rough 2nd half, depending on how much shade they had. One cool thing was that a number of marathoners who had trained for NY ended up coming to this one.

There was enough of a breeze I never got overheated. I wore my running skirt and sleeveless top. I carried only my car key in one pocket and my iPhone in my other pocket.

Because I over-ate yesterday I was a bit concerned that I’d have GI issues, but lucked out. I was glad I hydrated well yesterday as I felt dry during the race. Before I left home I had a mug of ginger tea, then some hot water, plus a pint of room temp water. I ate two dates about 30 minutes before the race. I had a little water at about the halfway point then a little Gatorade at the station just before the 8-mile marker.

I tried not go too fast at the start and managed to average about a 9:15 pace over the first 5.5 miles. I ended up with a 9:39 pace (2:06:18), which I thought was pretty good considering my 10K last week was at 9:36. I had enough energy at the end to kick it and pass several runners, including a couple of female competitors close to my own age (57).

The first half of the course runs alternately on city streets & bike paths. The second half is almost exclusively all along bike paths. The arroyos and hills are beautiful and the aroma of the vegetation energizing. It’s a relatively flat course, but a few gentle rises to give some variety.

I will probably run this race again next year, as I like the course, it’s conveniently timed a week after my annual 10K LA Cancer Challenge, and it’s just a great well-organized race.

My next race I’m actually registered for is March 31st (RnR Half in Lexington KY) but now I’m looking at adding a couple of others to keep my in shape over the winter, maybe one on 6 January and another on 17 February.a
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