Distance: 13.1 miles
Time: 1:49:10 ***PERSONAL RECORD***
Location: Ventura, CA (Westpark Community Center)
Notes: I PR-ed, but I was nowhere near where I wanted to be. In fact, I only beat my previous best by about 18 seconds. Still, a PR is a PR.
My excuse? Well, it was hot, but I think, more than anything, it just wasn't a good day of running for me. My legs remained tight the whole way through and I felt a couple of twitches near my ITB that I worried about. I didn't let it slow me down and didn't factor into the race, though. I could have pushed myself even more, but I fell victim to psychology again and didn't kick it up a notch at the end. When the race was over my legs felt strong enough, but the doubts crept up at the end.
Still, the good news is that I kept a steady pace the whole way through. I don't think I ran a mile faster than 8 minutes and nothing slower than 9 minutes. Like clockwork I was hitting the mile markers at 8:30 or so. I'll have to check my watch to see what the lap times were, but from what I remember I was very consistent. I also ran a slightly faster second half. I didn't beat Kiley again, though. He finished about a minute ahead of me, but I thought I could have caught him. Again it's the push at the end. I'm weak! One of my goals is to beat him in a head to head race. He passed me with about 100 yards left at the Turkey Trot this year. Today we traded leads throughout the race until he passed me for good at about mile 9. I narrowed the gap several times, but I also got passed by a couple of runners with two miles left. I hate getting passed.
I think not having a good run today will serve me well. I have to remember that with the warm winter we've had this year in LA, I should be ready for yet another warm day come marathon time. I also sweated a lot more salt than usual. My shirt was caked with white streaks and my forehead and arms were covered with salty powder. I tasted it. =) I also have to take care of my legs. I should probably take the next couple of days off. There is bowling on Valentine's Day, so that's at least a bit of exercise.
On non-running news. Even with the early call for the half marathon (I had to get up at 3:45 AM to carpool with Gina, Audrey, and Kiley to Ventura), I still went to the Avalon last night to see Stars. Terrific show, but I missed the warm, meticulous orchestrations of the recordings. A lot of energy, and the band seemed very thankful and happy to be there. I wish they played "The Woods," though. The show actually started and finished earlier than expected. The band came on by 9:30 and wrapped up by 10:45. As a result, I wound up missing practically all of the Elected's opening set. From what I saw they sounded great. Their album is quite good and deserving of some notice even if they are getting slightly overshadowed by Jenny Lewis's solo album.
Before the show, I stopped by Amoeba Records and picked up CD's by Final Fantasy and the Unicorns.