New Year’s Race: Los Angeles ~ Race Re-Cap

New Year’s Race: Los Angeles ~ Race Re-Cap

The New Year’s Race in Los Angeles, California, was an inaugural half marathon that took place on Saturday, January 5, 2013. This was not a goal race for me. I was just running it because I knew I’d be in Los Angeles visiting my family for the holidays, and it was perfect timing! The race started at 9 pm.

I liked that the race was NOT actually on New Year’s Day. This allowed me to enjoy the holiday with my family. The race was still close enough to the new year, however, to mimic a New Year’s race feel, so that, I appreciate.

The Expo was small. We went the day prior, during rush hour. We had to pay for parking and it took us FOREVER to get back home, thanks to the horrific Friday evening traffic. I’d suggest the race coordinators move the Expo to a location outside of Downtown LA for the future.

This was my first night race. I don’t think I’ll ever do another night race. It was torture waiting the entire day to start the run. We had to be so cautious about what we ate and how much we ate, and how soon to the race we ate. We had to think about drinking enough to stay hydrated but not so much that we’d have to pee while we were running. And just running at the end of the day, when you don’t really have any energy left, just isn’t appealing to me. I’m an early morning runner. Running even at 10 am is late for me! I thought a start time of 9 pm was a little late! I wish it could’ve started at 7 pm…that would have been much nicer.

The course was pretty hilly! I, unfortunately, was not prepared for all of the hills. But they were doable, nonetheless! My hubby and I pushed through this race together, and I enjoyed every step with him! (This was the first race we’ve ever run together, side-by-side.)

Running together.

Running together.

I felt the hills start maybe around mile 3, and they did not stop until around mile 9.5. Overall, there was an elevation gain of 704 feet, with the majority of the hills around Dodger Stadium.

course

My Garmin stats.

We got to run through Dodger Stadium, which was AMAZING! I remember looking at the stands from the baseball field, thinking about how much history had taken place right there where I was running. I was in awe. I was running where my favorite team plays all of their home games, and it was just a spectacular moment!

me

Making faces at the photographers.

There were some gorgeous views of the downtown Los Angeles skyline. We took tons of pictures of the city lights. Our home is just beautiful, especially when all lit up at night!

A view of Downtown LA along the race course.

A view of Downtown LA along the race course.

One of the most beautiful churches in LA, I'd say! Carlos's great-grandma had her funeral here.

One of the most beautiful churches in LA, I’d say! My husband’s great-grandma had her funeral here.

Now, this review may be somewhat bias, because I am in a running slump right now! I am over trained, and I’m exhausted. I am not running at the paces I had been running at (meaning I’ve slowed down a lot recently), my body is shot (it feels tired and empty inside), and I have been having negative feelings toward running lately, which has never happened before! And it all came out in this race, let me tell you.

I was a Debbie Downer. Around mile THREE, yes, THREE, I told my husband: “I think I might actually quit this one!” He told me to shut up and keep going. LOL!! So I did. He’s never really sympathetic when I feel like it totally sucks. I love (and hate) that about him.

It was flippin cold, and it just got worse as it got later. It started out in the low 40s (DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT LIKE RUNNING IN COLD WEATHER. PERIOD.), and every time I stopped to get water at a water stop, some water fell out of the cup and went onto my gloves and sleeves, which just helped create this sense of hypothermia…and YES, my gloves and sleeves were water wicking.

So I took my gloves off, but then my hands got so frozen that I couldn’t even move them after a while. They were stuck in this funny position, and were turning red, then purple. It was terrible! It got to where I couldn’t even hold the gloves, because they were so cold they just made me worse, so my loving husband held them for me for the rest of the way. He’s such a trooper for dealing with my negative ass that night!

It gets better: in mile 8, my knee locked up. Like, my leg straight up locked in place, and I couldn’t bend it. It was weird. I thought, “This is it. I’m done. How can I finish with an eff-ed up knee?” I thought I would have to walk the rest. I tried to move, very slowly, and my leg worked, but it was wobbly for a little while. So I hobbled. After a while, it stopped hurting so much, so I tried to jog a little, and I was able to. I kept on running after that. It seemed to fix itself. I presume it was all of the hills that I was unprepared for, and for which I did not train for (bad runner mistake #1,359,457).

I was so fed up with running in circles around and around Dodger Stadium, that I yelled out to everyone around me, “When are these hills going to stop?!?!” A runner next to me started laughing hysterically. He responded, “When we get out of Dodger Stadium.” I thought, “Ok, we’ve been in this area for 4 miles already, so let me rephrase the question: WHEN ARE WE GETTING OUT OF DODGER STADIUM?!” He he he.

There were areas of Dodger Stadium that were pretty dark; like, pitch black. Not for very long, but just enough for me to complain about it, because apparently, complaining was the theme of this race for me!! So Carlos kept pulling his phone out and turning on the flash, pointing it at the ground, so that we wouldn’t fall and kill ourselves on those hills.

During this race, I remember feeling like 13 miles was a really, really long time, and I hadn’t felt that way about this distance for months and months, so I was pretty upset about that. I kept telling Carlos about how I was never going to run after this, and that I hate running now, etc., etc., etc.

Isn’t it funny how you can go into a race, and things can change so suddenly for you? You have no idea what to expect in a race. So many conditions depend on that one day, and many of them, you have no control over.

I didn’t have control over the late start time, or the cold weather, or all of those hills. I didn’t have control over the harsh winter conditions that I was training for this race in. I DID have control over my attitude and my thoughts, though. And that was 99.9% of my problem in this half marathon. I really beat myself up in this race! It was an awful feeling.

Crossing the finish line hand-in-hand.

Crossing the finish line hand-in-hand; can you tell Carlos is practically dragging me across? HA! HA!

I’m glad I finished this race. Even though I was beating myself up, I shut it out juuuust enough to NOT QUIT.

All done!

All done!

I guess some days are just like that.

Have you ever had a bad race? How did you get yourself through it?

M2R

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This article has 17 comments

  1. Way to go girl :) that’s awesome that you finished such a tough one…i’ve never had a race like that (yet…i’m sure i will as i run more of them), but I’ve definitely had runs like that…usually just try to be gentle/patient with myself and find something positive (like finishing, going our in the first place, running in the sunshine, etc) to try and take away from it
    Caitlin recently posted…Tuesday ThoughtsMy Profile

    • Avatar of Debra R

      Thanks, Caitlin! It was such a bummer to have a race like that! Like you, I’ve had runs like that, but never on race day. I think my body is just worn out, physically and emotionally. I’m taking a much needed break, hoping that will help! :)

  2. Nice job to finish. I can’t imagine running a race that starts at 9 pm, especially a half marathon. That’s my bedtime!
    Debbie @ Live from La Quinta recently posted…Death in the Family: A Sad Goodbye to Lois LaBonteMy Profile

  3. Way to tough it out! I’ve never done a night race but I can see how it would be a totally different ball game. Running in the dark just changes the perspective on everything!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…Blueberry Lemon Chia Seed Mini MuffinsMy Profile

    • Avatar of Debra R

      It does! And we had to leave very early the next morning for a 13 hour drive. I didn’t realize that after the race, I’d be so “high” off of adrenaline that I wouldn’t be able to sleep at all, HA! Oooooops! ;)

  4. When you’ve been racing as long as I have, you’ve had plenty of bad races! It’s not fun, but when it happens, you just learn to suck it up and get through it. The next one will be better and I’ve found that sometimes, the bad ones serve as fuel for the next one. Don’t dwell on it–just rub some dirt in it and move on!
    misszippy recently posted…One run at a timeMy Profile

    • Avatar of Debra R

      Thank you so much! I’m glad to know I am not the only one to have ever had a bad race, although, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone! It was no fun. Yes, you are right: I am sure the next one will be better! Thank you for the advice. :)

  5. I think we have all had a race where we swore off running, hated the conditions or weren’t prepared for the course! It’s part of what make the sport so wonderful and so maddening at the same time. Every once in a while we prepare as best we can and the race blows up in our face but it’s also quite common that we go in thinking we have e dry thing under control and the asphalt turns us on our heads and reminds us we are not always in charge. I try to feel humbled in those moments and I am getting better but instill have my times where I whine and complain through the entire race!!!
    Sarah MomRunningonEmpty recently posted…13 Random Thoughts about Me!My Profile

    • Avatar of Debra R

      Yes, it was truly a humbling experience! So I am not invincible?? I learned that I need to step back and refocus right now, and ramp back up once I feel reenergized. It ended up being a beautiful blessing in disguise. Isn’t it great how running can teach you so many things? That’s what I love so much about it: it never stops teaching me things! :)

  6. I have only run a half twice, however I have run multiple shorter distance races. I feel like the great races wouldn’t feel so great if we didn’t have really bad races.
    Kelly @ Cupcake Kelly’s recently posted…Year of Baking: Flour’s Corn MuffinsMy Profile

    • Avatar of Debra R

      I think you are right, Kelly! After that race, I really thought about races that went, and I appreciated them on a whole new level! And a half I ran just a couple of short weeks later went well; throughout the run, I kept thinking, “Man, this is SO much better!” I just relished in the fact that I felt happy, and in that race, NOTHING else mattered. It was so freeing! :)

  7. Way to finish! Mile 3 is always my ‘hit the wall’ point whenever I run. Good on your husband to keep you going! I’m not a fan of night races either but i’ve done a few cool ones racing with glowsticks that were pretty fun. But I hate having to be on top of hydration and eating leading up to it all day.
    Rachel B @ Busy Mama Fitness recently posted…Goal Check-InMy Profile

  8. My toughest race had a lot of hills and I thought I was prepared for them, but it was just brutal. I knew my husband and friends were waiting for me at the finish, so I just concentrated on keeping my legs moving to get there.
    AmyC recently posted…Review: Firmoo EyeglassesMy Profile

    • Avatar of Debra R

      Way to tough it out, Amy! xoxo I was such a Debbie Downer in this race. Boo! :( I wish I could go back and change my attitude now, but I’ll just keep it in mind for the next one! :D

  9. [...] myself at this race. After the New Year’s Race two weeks prior (you can read that race recap here), I was pretty much shot. I felt mad at running…like I hated it and wanted it to go Far, Far [...]

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