I have considered running Students Run LA’s friendship run several times over the years. 18 miles is different, but they hold the race as a training run/race leading up to the LA Marathon and I have often thought it would be a great way to get a faster long run in a marathon training build up.
Today, I ran it as my second race of the weekend… I did a 5k yesterday. I meant to hold back to Marathon Goal pace 7:55 -8:00, but got a little carried away.. It was not all out, but it was faster than a tempo run… 7:26 pace… I debated to myself whether to just run it as a regular long run -8:30-9:00 pace, a fast finish run, or maybe even go for all 18 at marathon pace. When the gun went off, marathon pace felt easy, so that is what I did.
The course is 2 9 mile loops. It starts climbing out of the dam’s basin and over a hill, then it drops down and runs in front of the dam. The course headed to the east side of the basin and had a pretty steady climb. At around 5 miles it made a uturn and we got to run back downhill till we got below the east end of the dam. We went up a ramp and ran across the dam back close to the beginning. We dropped off the dam and did it all again.
My watch automatically records a lap every half mile. I noted a few below 4 minutes but most a little slower than that during the early part of the race – climbing. When I ran the downhill, the splits dropped and I noticed my total time got right to an 8 min/mile average at the 9 mile half way point. Dropping down below the dam, I got a little ahead of pace, but then fell up to 20s or so behind on the uphill. By the time I got back onto the dam I was at 8 pace once again. The last two laps I was able to pick it up a bit with splits of 7:43 and 7:41… so I guess it was a fast finish marathon pace run… Total Time 2:24:20 – 93rd place out of 3693 runners.
I wore my new Hyland’s shirt and hat for the race, knowing that two of the sponsored teacher runners = Brian Pfeffer and Rachel Rodriguez would be there. Early in the race, Brian caught me, noticed my gear and said hi as he went by. After the u-turn I heard a voice call out “Hylands!” “Go Dale!” from Rachel as she went by on the other side… both laps. It was awesome to get some support for the run.
A SRLA runner and (perhaps) his grandfather approached me afterwards. The older man asked if I worked for Hylands, the young if I was one of the Teacher runners going to Boston. I said, I was a teacher runner going to Boston, but not one of the ones the announced at the start line (Rachel and Brian.) The older man, apparently was sent to Boston by Hylands last year. He has great memories!
Hyland’s sent a whole box of goodies this week. A bag, some clothing, lots of goo, gels, bars, etc. and an assortment of their Homeopathic products. Since I have had some trouble with cramps in long races and rides, I carried their cramp relief tablets. I took one at the start, and 3 more spaced out in the run. The last couple of miles I was feeling my left adductor get tight – like perhaps it would cramp up like it had at the Calico 30k... but thankfully it did not…. I realize that one report of success does not prove a products effectiveness… but my hopes are high!