Thursday, February 21, 2013

Heather's Pasadena Rock n Roll race report

Submitted by Heather Stewart @captainstewie

I Love It When a Plan Comes Together.

The Pasadena Rock 'n' Roll Half was a culmination of many plans coming together:

1. This is my final training “race” before the LA Marathon (LAM). I will run more and longer distances, but this is the last race.

2. Organizing when to pick up my bib, when to get to Pasadena and where to park was a plan in itself!


3. There was finally a solid plan to meet up with some #run3rd Captains. Andrea and I had made “plans,” if that’s what you can call them, at two different races, and Disney races are crazy places to try to do meet ups, plus this would be my first opportunity to hobnob with our fearless leader!

First things first...

In retrospect, I probably wouldn’t have signed up for so many races as “training runs.” I thought it would be difficult to run through my hometown and add miles. I thought that a race would be an easier way to log the miles, but organizing your life for a race is hard.

It’s what you eat and how you work out for the two days prior. It’s organizing picking up bibs, where to park, if you’re going to carpool, what time you’re leaving, do you need a hotel, etc. I would say that this would help me in the long run, but I’ve done A LOT of organized races in the past two years, so I’ve got this down.

That being said, I LOVED THIS RACE. I would totally do it again. Pasadena is gorgeous and it was so great to run through it. Training or not, this one is on my bucket list to do AGAIN.

The rolling hills were a great challenge AND training for the LA Marathon. There was one point during the race where I thought to myself, “Is it possible for a race to be entirely uphill?” But, what goes up must go down and that’s what we did.

The architecture in Pasadena is so great. It feels very “Old California” while still being very modern.  The people on the course were awesome! I even learned about a running club and am thinking about starting a chapter in my home town. (Dog Haus Running Club…around mile 7)

What’s been working for me as far as training goes is taking runs in 4 mile chunks. Four miles is doable. On my best day it’s about 45 minutes, on my worst an hour.  I know that I can run 4 miles non-stop and still feel awesome. So, that’s what I do.  This race was no different. I did walk up some of the more difficult hills and I took a couple of intervals at the end. (The consensus of the people I spoke with seemed to be that Mile 11-12.5 were brutal, I think it’s because you are running around the Rose Bowl and you know you’re almost there….LET THE MENTAL GAMES COMMENCE!)

But, I ran a great race. I came in faster than my last two and only 4 minutes off of my PR and this was a waaaaayyy more difficult course than the fast, flat Ventura course of my speediest time.

I felt awesome. It’s very rare for me to have two great running weeks in a row, but I think my 20 miler a couple of weeks ago has given me the much needed boost of confidence that helped me through.

Once the race was over, it was time for fun!

I had tried to hook up with Andrea and Sean pre-race. Ditto, Ryan and I got there very early. There was supposed to be construction on the freeway, so we didn’t want to be late. We had bought parking passes for the Rose Bowl and that parking lot closed at 6am. Race time wasn’t until 7:30am, so we had some time to kill.

Alas, I took a power nap in the car and Sean tweeted, “#run3rdmeetup at 10:15 in front of the black Rock ‘n’ roll tent on the grass!!!”

Uhhhh, I might not be finished at 10:15 (I wasn’t, but wasn’t that far off) so I tweeted for them to wait for me and went for my run. I may have had your #run3rd for all the dedications in my pocket, but that morning I #run1st for to make it to the meet up!

After the race Ditto, Ryan and I planned to meet at bag check. Lo and behold there they were at the finish with our friend from the gym, Melanie. We took some pictures and I was off to find my fellow Captains! We grabbed our stuff and I was looking at twitter, trying to see what everyone was wearing so I would recognize them and Ditto says, “Is that them?”

Kickin’ it on the grass were Sean and Leah!

Sean was so gracious; we all sat down and just chatted. We talked about everything from kids to nutrition to tattoos (both Sean and I have one on our foot, OUCH!) and of course, RUNNING!

Andrea came out and it was so fun to *finally* meet her after all of our near misses at past races!

We took team pictures and discussed how we can further get the word out about #run3rd. (I have LOTS of ideas…coming soon to Linda and Sean.) It was so nice to sit on the grass, in the sun and just get to know these people who have become my friends through #run3rd and spend time with my friends who run with me all the time.

It’s so awesome how people often thank me for running with their dedications or tells me that I’m an inspiration. But I really feel it’s the other way around.

I wasn’t always the positive, active person you see on twitter and in my blog.  I had a rough go of it for a while. At one point I said, “I want to be inspired so I, in turn, can be an inspiration.”

 #Run3rd has given me an opportunity to form relationships with some incredible people, to run for some very worthy causes and, most importantly, to inspire people.

Running and #run3rd has given me so much inspiration.  Sometimes, when I’m having a rough time, I touch the pocket where I put your dedications and it adds a spring to my step. Or I look at the super nice things you say about my blog or my picture or just me and it makes a bad day better. The only reason I am able to be an inspiration at all, is because of the inspiring people and stories that touch my life.

#Run3rd has given me that inspiration exponentially.

Pasadena Rock N Roll Half Marathon  3/17/2013  2:48:49

LA Marathon in 24 Days

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