Picking up from yesterday, the race starts by going through Universal CityWalk.
In theory, this is a great idea. In reality, it’s very crowded and next to impossible to start at any kind of pace you want. Well, maybe not in the super fast corrals. It’s probably (hopefully) not that way up there.
I fight to get around very slow walkers all the way through CityWalk, until we finally get out and get tons of space. It’s downhill for a while. (I think maybe about the first 3 miles.) I had just read an article in a running magazine about Boston and how to properly train for the hills. The writer of the article was stressing the importance of not going too fast on downhill sections ’cause you ruin your legs for everything that comes next. I really kept that in mind and took it really easy as we kept going low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low. (Flo Rida got in my head as I was writing that sentence…)
(Side story that has nothing to do with the Hollywood Half Marathon: I was in the car with my dad a few years ago, and “Low” (the song I linked to in the previous paragraph) came on the radio. I hadn’t even heard it yet. He said, “I love this song!” He turned up the radio, and sang along. He knew every word! He is the coolest.)
Back to the half marathon, I saved my legs pretty well while going downhill. I didn’t push too hard. I was doing about 13 minute miles. We passed the Hollywood Bowl and the big Hollywood/Highland intersection – you know, I guess the “iconic” Hollywood spots. (I’m not really sure what’s iconic here.)
As I was going along, these peppy women came through and asked everyone to go to the side. We were making way for someone hula hooping through the half marathon. She was working on setting a world record for hula hooping through the most miles – and she did it! (Hey Becky, the gauntlet has been thrown down! You ready to overtake this girl’s world record?)
Once I got to Hollywood and Highland, I decided to finally try to take a real picture (thinking it’d be the most interesting area of the course). Of course when I finally slowed down enough to take a picture – that’s when I saw a photographer! He was the only one I saw on the whole course (other than at the finish). I tried to get back into a nice looking stride so he’d hopefully get a nice picture of me, but I think it was too late. I can’t wait to see how awkward I look. (“click. click. Oh look, Ripley’s… A photographer? Agh! (awkward stepping over myself to look as though I was really running). And epic failure.”)
I went pretty slowly for the rest of the way. my body wasn’t hurting, but my feet were (even though I really did have wonderful shoes that I can’t wait to keep breaking in).
It was sort of embarrassing when Joe (who I’d met that morning) and Wendy both passed me on the turnaround super early on, and I was there just walking.
The water stops on the first half of the turnaround were on the left hand side so that they could serve as the water stop for both sides of the turnaround. For easy logistics, I understand. But those dreaded left-side water stations on really wide streets are quite inconvenient. Then again, there aren’t all that many water stops in a half marathon, so it’s not that big of a deal.
Speaking of things that are inconvenient about water stops, they ran out of cups super early on. I know I was having a really slow race, but the one I passed around I don’t know, maybe mile 4 was also supposed to serve as the one for mile 9 or 10 ish, and by the time I passed it (the first time) it was already out of cups! The volunteers were real troopers, keeping up high energy and asking people to cup their hands out for water.
There’s a lot more to say about water stations and getting electrolytes (and possibly a surprise a for me…) Come back tomorrow to hear about it all.