Malibu Half Marathon

Posted by Lauren and Nicole

*also added to our Races page*

N: Looking back on Sunday, it sure was a marathon day, and not just in the running sense! Lauren and I woke up at 4 AM and were “go-go-go” until midnight! Let’s start from the beginning… At 4:15, we drove to the finish line of the Malibu Half Marathon to park the car.

L: This was a point-to-point race with three offerings: full marathon, half marathon, supathalon (7 mile run + 6 mile paddle in the ocean = WOW). Everyone took a bus to their respective start line. The last bus was supposed to leave 1.5 hours before the race start… a little early, wouldn’t you say?

N: I can’t remember much of the bus ride for some reason…

N: Luckily, when I woke up 20 minutes later, the sun was rising over the Pacific Ocean and my pre-race excitement was kickin’ in! The ocean and surrounding cliffs were b-e-a-uuuutiful.

L: It was coooooooold out!

N: We kept our warm clothes on for as long as possible, snapped some pictures by the start line, and ate breakfast. We each had a banana and Clif bar. Chocolate chip for me…

L: … and blueberry crisp for me! Usually I like a bowl of oatmeal or the Corazon banana nut bar, but the Clif one did the trick. The best part, the huge chunks of almonds!

N: While shielding ourselves from the wind, I just so happened to spot my friend Anthony! He is a 5th year senior at Pepperdine and I had no idea he was running the race. Talk about a fun surprise!

N: It was his first half marathon, and I wished him good luck before going to the bag-drop area and the start line. We packed up our sweatshirts :( and took our spot at the start line. Don’t let the beautiful scenery fool you, it was chilly.

N: I was a little stressed about getting back to school in time for my 12:00 call-time for the women’s basketball game, and when the race didn’t start on time at 7:30, I started to get very nervous. Lauren dealt with my frustration and slight cursing, and I was beyond relieved when the race finally commenced at 7:50.

L: In these situations, there’s really not much you can do. At the scheduled start time, three buses were still en route to the start line (despite the multiple warnings buses would stop at 6 AM). Race coordinators also needed an ‘all-clear’ from highway patrol. I was afraid Nicole would psych herself out about making it to dance on time….

N: The race traveled along the Pacific Coast Highway and the ocean views were amazing. It got hot, but the ocean breeze kept the temperature moderate.

Course Map:

N: Lauren and I ran together for the first half mile and then she ran off into the distance. Miles 1 – 4 flew by, which was interesting because Lauren told me to use this race tactic: “ignore the first 4 miles because they go by quickly and then you only have 9 left.” It totally worked! I stayed in front of the 2:00:00 pacer for the first 7.7 miles of the race, but hit a wall on the large hill at mile 8. I lost a bit of hope, but kept pushing along.

L: Just like Nicole, miles 1-4 went by shockingly fast. At mile 3 I stopped to go the bathroom, fearful of another RWTJ accident. I felt great the first few miles; pacing behind an extremely athletic 6’4″ guy really boosts your self-confidence. The first hill came at mile 5 – I used a lot of my energy to power up it at a fast pace. There was a narrow switchback between mile 7 – 8 along a beach parking lot. When I returned to Pacific Coast Highway, my energy faltered.

Course Elevation:

N: At mile 9, I really didn’t feel good. The temperature was getting too hot for me (I’m a wimp) and I just wanted the race to be over already. I’m kind of a drama queen in case you didn’t know:

L: The final three hills at mile 7, 10, and 11 really wore me out. I battled in my head – race it? run it? race it? run it? In the end I decided NOT to push it because 1. blasting up hills is not my forte and 2. my Nike Frees do not offer enough support. I kept a comfortable pace and daydreamed about living in a Malibu mansion….

L: After running past the million dollar listings, I welcomed the final, downhill mile 13 and sprinted to the finish line. Swag: race medal and beach towel. Food: bananas, fruit cups, and granola bars.

N: At mile 11, Anthony ran up behind me and we ended up running the last two miles together. He sprinted ahead of me at the end, but definitely gave me the push I needed to power through those final killer miles. Plus, I had someone to snap a photo of me at the finish line!

N: I was polite and snapped a victory photo of Anthony, too. Is that not the best finisher’s pose? I might have to try that one next time.

L: I am really happy with my finish time: 1:41:49 (average 7:46 pace). My speed work plan is paying off!!! :) I ran fast the first few miles because it felt right. I’m okay with positive splits because I didn’t set out to race the whole thing, just sort of run it, you know? I grabbed 4th in my age group… a pleasant surprise! If anything, this race assured me that I WILL SEE 1:3X SOON.

My splits:

And my bling:

N: As for my finish time, I almost beat my best time (PR at the Hollywood Half)! I’m very proud of my time for the first 7 miles and despite the struggle during miles 8-11, I’m glad that I finished strong. This was my second fastest finish of the five half marathons I have completed, which is reassuring considering I feel like I’ve been getting slower and slower. I just need to remind myself that I’m not speed training, so I can’t expect to magically PR.

N: Lauren picked up the car and we headed back to USC at 10:15! I was in the shower at 11:15, eating a quick meal (eggs/veggies/marinara) at 11:30, and at the Galen Center (in full performance hair and makeup) at 12. It sure was a speedy day!

N: Luckily, we had about an hour of spare time before heading to the court and I fit in a quick power nap. My teammate caught me in the act…

N: I eventually woke up, glued a smile on my face, shook my poms, danced three routines, and then finally celebrated a post-race meal of glory. More on that tomorrow for WIAW :)

N: It was a great, busy day!

Q4U: What is your next race? Are you running in a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot?

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