I guess I shouldn’t have expected any less from “the world’s toughest half marathon.” I wasn’t sure if I should do it to begin with… I hadn’t done much hill training and I really haven’t even been running that much. A few friends convinced me to attempt it and I made the bargain with myself that, if I woke up in time, I would do it. Friends… I woke up at 3:30am, with plenty of time to drive from LA to Santa Barbara and arrive before 5:30am. It was cool and misty for the first two hours, so I really have no complaints. The first two miles were also pretty mild as far as elevation, so I kept a good steady pace. My goal was to stick with 90/30 intervals and I did that through about 8.5 miles. Mile 9 got a little tough and I had to start walking. I walked a lot of miles 9 through 11 because the elevation just got to be a bit too much. Then I finally got a bit of a downhill and that helped me start to run again and push the pace, no matter how tired I was. It definitely had a bit of a twist in the end: my watch said I was .2 miles from the finish, so I really started pushing it. I heard the people at the end… but then I just kept rounding corner after corner. In the end, my watch was 1/3 of a mile off. I ended up finishing in 3:03:01. Slower than I wanted (goal was sub 3), but I was almost never passed and was able to stay pretty consistent given the elevation (see my Grade Adjusted Pace in the table below).
I think the biggest thing was once I got to the top. When I looked down, it was completely overwhelming. I also know I couldn’t have pushed myself any harder because my calves were shaking, which has never happened to me after a half before. I also could not believe how far I had gone as we were taking the shuttles down. The climb was steep enough that even the shuttle was going pretty slow on the way down and, with every turn, I kept realizing how high we really were. At one point, during mile 10, I think I said to the person running next to me “why did we sign up for this?”. I still stand by that and am not entirely sure what drove me. You can see the full results here (fastest was 1:35 and the fastest woman was 1:50!). I managed to be 227/288 , 72/100 women, and 16/22 in my division. And I was 1 of only 16 people who weren’t from California! I think this crowd was probably a bit tougher than the average half, so I’m pretty happy with how I did.
|1||10:06 /mi||9:51 /mi||40 ft|
|2||10:05 /mi||9:21 /mi||135 ft|
|3||12:01 /mi||10:01 /mi||266 ft|
|4||11:50 /mi||10:18 /mi||217 ft|
|5||14:34 /mi||10:55 /mi||409 ft|
|6||14:11 /mi||10:43 /mi||400 ft|
|7||13:34 /mi||10:28 /mi||377 ft|
|8||13:57 /mi||10:47 /mi||366 ft|
|9||14:57 /mi||11:24 /mi||396 ft|
|10||14:54 /mi||10:10 /mi||425 ft|
|11||18:20 /mi||12:58 /mi||482 ft|
|12||11:14 /mi||11:20 /mi||-111 ft|
|13||16:46 /mi||12:42 /mi||380 ft|
|0.37||17:33 /mi||13:07 /mi||145 ft|