I even ended the race with one of my own.
Score. Awesome medal. Very Hollywood.
I woke up later than I planned this morning. I set the first alarm for 6:15 and slept right through it. This is in part because Mark thought I asked him to set an alarm for 4:15…and so he woke me up at 4:15. Yuck. Anyway, I ignored my alarm until almost 7am.
With an 8am starting time, that made things a bit tight.
Luckily, I had everything ready to go and just grabbed a portable breakfast.
I only live 5 minutes from the Highland center, so I got there with ample time to spare.
I ate a cliff bar I got at my last race, and an apple as I made my way to the starting line.
I’m glad I didn’t get there super early. There was no race day expo or anything so after stretching and a quick trip to the bathroom I only had to stand in the race cue for about 5 minutes.
The starting line was right by the Hollywood Hard Rock Cafe.
It was pretty neat to look down at Hollywood Blvd and realize that I was about to run that iconic strip of golden stars and historic buildings.
The buzzer blew and we were all off. No timed corals this time. I immediately tried to find a space to run away from the hoard and was pleased to see the amount of people I was passing on the way to that goal. My pace was strong and I felt great.
One song in however, my mp3 player decided it didn’t want to play the next song and went spastic on me. I kept my pace up, hoping it would fix itself…but one full minute without music while I run is like an hour for me. I slowed to a walk to reboot the now frozen device, skip the angry song, and move on.
Luckily that was the only glitch. But I struggled to get back into my stride after that.
I was bummed that the first water station wasn’t really…ready. Everything was gone…but no worries. It was just over a mile and I was fine. Wasn’t really thirsty until I saw I couldn’t have any.
Coming up on my half way point, I found a nice little hole in the crowds and tried to get back up to a decent pace.
That didn’t last long though. I was getting passed pretty quickly now. I had a bad cramp in my side already and the not even hot day was already melting me.
I tried to push through and run as much as I could, though.
A little bit after turning at the roundabout (and the halfway point for the 5K) I got a jolt of motivation as we once again starting passing the Hollywood stars, and the famed Pantages Theatre.
Seriously. What a beautiful run.
I was losing it. Gasping for air. I couldn’t breath out of my nose anyway because my allergies have been so bad for the past few weeks and my poor breathing may have contributed to the cramps. But the end was in site.
The half marathoners were splitting off and I could see the finish line.
I also saw that I could beat my last 5k time if I sprinted for it.
I took a deep breath and ran with everything I had left.
I have not seen the official times yet, but I think I finished right at 34:00 minutes, which would beat my previous time. I’ll let you know when that number comes out.
Someone handed me my medal while I was catching my breath. I shoved it over my head while I found a bottle of water and another one of those Cliff Electrolyte shots from the expo yesterday.
After I was a little more hydrated, I was just thrilled that I did it.
And what an awesome setting for a race.
I had a really good time. I would run this race again.