Thursday, May 20, 2010

Palos Verdes Half Marathon (5/15/10)

Last year, I ran this 13.1 mile race just before running my first marathon. This year, that order was reversed. I came into the 2010 Palos Verdes ½ Marathon having run several marathons in the past few months. My goal today was to beat my 2009 time and run about 1:50. I gave myself my normal long acting insulin dose as soon as I woke up. For breakfast, I made my usual ham, egg, and cheese croissant along with orange juice, a banana, and coffee. No preprace Humulog (fast acting insulin) bolus unless my blood glucose spikes over 200.

I picked up my race number on Friday, but still arrived early because I might have to park far away from the start line. Upon arriving and parking about a ½ mile up the hill on Gaffey Street, I checked my sugar. It was at 180, an acceptable starting point considering I had plenty of insulin on board and was about to run 13 miles.

I carried a flask containing six packets of Vanilla Bean GU. I drank water and Gatoraid at seven of the ten aid stations, skipping the first and last two. The course was mostly rolling hills, with only one somewhat steep ascent after the first mile which we would revisit going downhill on the way back. It was an out and back course and I hit the turnaround at exactly 50 minutes. I was not sure whether I had made a mistake starting too fast, but I decided to keep the pace and find out if I could hold it. I had seen a student from the school where I work at the start line, but lost track of him in the crowd by the second mile. As I pass mile 12, his dad yells “he's trying to run you down!” That motivated me to start my final surge.

I crossed the line at 1:39.59. I achieved another one of my goals for the season, to break 100 minutes in a 13.1 mile race. It was my best half marathon time yet and it was on a relatively hilly course. I am encouraged because it shows progress towards realistically running a 3:10 marathon and qualifying for Boston. The California International Marathon in December might be that opportunity. My next challenge will be on June 5th where I will try to break 20 minutes at the Hawthorne 5k.


  1. Great job! OK. That's a pretty fast time, but you look like you're sprinting in that photo! Is that your finishing kick? You must have had a lot left over.

  2. Thanks. Saw the clock and realized that I had a chance to break 100 minutes, so I managed to sprint the last 100 yards. You're right about having energy to spare, and that's not a good thing for the sake of time. I'll have to race more aggresively to keep improving.

  3. Almost forgot... Thanks for the donation to my campaign! Planning on making that September training weekend in Utah?

  4. Yes, I want to do that. Looking forward to it.

  5. Wow Christian! You are fast, and I'm impressed with all your races and all the goals you keep setting and reaching! Good for you.


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