|Sean at Tinker Bell Half|
Ok, here’s the story. I ran the Tinker Bell Half Marathon on January 20. So, why should I run the Rose Bowl Half in Pasadena just a week later??? Simple: vanity!
I’ve been watching the #Run3rd idea blossom and grow. As each new Team Captain comes on board I feel more and more inspired. Hence, I feel the excitement to run in races to keep in lock step with the Team.
I missed several months due to injury and now I seem to be back in the swing of things. As usual, I don’t do things halfway. I jumped in with the New Years 5K after having precious few miles under my belt. Then I had to bail out of the Walt Disney World 20th Anniversary Half/Full Marathon weekend due to work here in LA. As good fortune would have it, the Tinker Bell Half came along and I was able to jump right in. [See more photos here, and videos here and here.] My time was slooowww (2:26:51), but it felt great to finish, and to have Team Captains Heather Stewart and Lupe Steele on hand! My Achilles held up nicely and my new approach to diet seemed to be working as well. I ran on Monday a few miles, and then (on the advice of a Boston Marathoner I know) took the whole week off.
Which brings me to the coooollld and rainy morning of the Rose Bowl ½ Marathon. The event had been well publicized and was clearly run with professional expertise. I was really surprised to see what seemed like a smallish turnout, but the ice-cold [in the 50s but it seemed ice-cold] and pouring rain might have had something do with it. I did a race-day pick up of bib, etc. Included in the participant package was a nifty RoseBowl Half Marathon shirt, which I promptly put to use as a shield from the elements. They say you shouldn’t introduce anything new to your routine on race day but I was flippin' cold!
The run was 70% trails some of which were straight up/down rocky hills, almost like a ladder made of mud. I took it easy and felt great until the last few miles. I ended up walk/running a few times to protect my Achilles from the steep inclines. While it killed my time (2:39:43) and bruised my ego (I had to do the same in the last two marathons in the last two miles), I was elated to then sprint out through the tunnel to the Rose Bowl Stadium where my actual alma mater UCLA plays (not my adopted University, Notre Dame). [More photos from the race here.]
All in all, it was a perfect, mostly #run1st race. Of course I read through the dedications from the previous week or more and kept them cycling throughout my thoughts while I ran. But not for nuthin, I’m watching the opening sequence of Chariot’s of Fire as I write this… inspiration, running, community, all of it…