Alternate Title: I’m Moving to Kansas so I can Live Where It’s Flat and Never Run Hills Again
I definitely seem to have a knack for picking hilly races. The Thousand Oaks Turkey Day Dash – hilly, the 4th of July 5k in Newbury Park – hilly, my first half marathon in Pomona – hilly. But yesterday’s half takes the cake. I don’t know why I didn’t think anything of it when I saw this:
But then again, being still “new” to the world of elevation charts, I didn’t realize how brutal that should have looked.
So the morning started early. Like, 5 AM early. After the Holiday Half I realized that my brain did not enjoy functioning without coffee and I think I had a migraine for 3 days following. So yesterday morning I got up and had a couple cups of coffee and an english muffin with peanut butter before heading out to Agoura Hills. Jason was kind enough to wake up before the sun to tag along as my valet/stuff holder/photographer/cheerleader.
The start line was super easy to get to and it began at Paramount Ranch, where they used to film a ton of old Western movies and shows like Dr. Quinn Medicine Women. It was so neat to see all those old buildings and they still use it as a movie set today!
Tired eyes. I also rocked my Black Sparkle Bic Band and loved it. It didn’t budge once.
The race wound through the roads of Malibu and Agoura Hills. We ran along Kanan Rd., which was awesome because I’ve spent years taking that road to the beach and seen many runners and cyclists and always thought “What crazy person would run/bike this!?”, but now I can annoy all my friends on our beach drives by telling them my race story every time.
We also ran along Mulholland, past some gorgeous houses, wineries, and Malibou Lake, which was gorgeous.
At about 2.86 miles we hit the beast-hill where I spent the entire .8 mile hill climb cursing the hill, cursing the person that set the course, cursing Malibu for having hill, cursing my legs for hating hills, etc. Luckily, that hill eventually ended and I flew back down with a 9-minute mile. I wish I had been able to keep a steady pace through the whole race but with that massive hill at the beginning and the many smaller ones that followed my splits were all over the place.
I saw J right at the end of the race toward the finish line and I kicked it as hard as I could to pass 5 women I’d been running alongside for most of the course.
I ended up finishing in 2:19:38 but according to my Garmin the course was 13.2 miles. I didn’t beat my first time of 2:18:00, but I am pretty happy considering that this course was much tougher than the Pomona course and I ran this one alone so I didn’t have my Dad to pace me.
Done with #2!
Next week’s half is in Ventura with an elevation change of 72 feet so I think that will be a better PR opportunity than the 1,221 ft. elevation gain of the Pacific Half
The Great Race of Agoura has an awesome after party was well. I saw tons of vendors with food like pancakes and granola bars and fruit. J and I grabbed some drinks from the FRS Energy Drink booth because I was craving something tart (their Cherry Limeade is delicious) and then took off because he had to park my car a million miles away and *gasp* I didn’t feel like pancakes or any of the other sweet items available.
We swung by Trader Joes to get some ingredients for Eggs Benedict (and we also ran into the pet adoption next door where I fell in love with every puppy). When we got home, Mr. Gourmet Chef Extraordinaire whipped up this:
While I iced and refueled:
Overall, it was a fun race with a beautiful and scenic course and beyond perfect weather. I’m not going to lie though, I’m looking forward to kicking some half marathon butt on a flat course next weekend and I might start sticking to some flatter races going forward. My booty is SORE this morning!
Great Race of Agoura – Pacific Half Marathon: 2:19:38, 29th/55 age group