I can’t believe my last race of the season is over. Fall race season was quick this year. It’s funny, I said Lexus Laceup would be my last so that I could focus on the wedding but last night, I sat in bed Googling races and contemplating if I had one more left in me (typical).
The Lexus Laceup Half Marathon in Ventura was my 5th destination race and 15th half marathon. Earlier this year, I had my heart set on running another Nike race but unfortunately they canceled San Fran and their Victory Tour, which was a MAJOR bummer. As a backup, running on the beach sounded nice and Ventura is pretty close to my fiancés parents’ house so I figured let’s go for it! I got them to sign-up for the 5k and convinced two of my runner friends to join me.
We flew to LA on Thursday night and bee lined it to Sweet Green. My friends had never tried all my favorites so this was a priority (other than running). Traffic was pretty bad so by the time we got home and settled in, we called it a night and got some good shut eye. Friday morning we woke up early and headed out the door with the dogs for a hike. Post hike we grabbed some juice from Pressed Juicery. We also grabbed some wellness bombs (there were sniffles floating around). After juice, we shopped around and did some damage before landing at Lemonade for lunch. I was starting to get hangry but my day was made when I got to sip on some guava lemonade. After that we went to pick up our packets at the race expo. This race is fairly small so this was a really easy and fast process. We ended the night with a home cooked meal and a reflexology massage.
Saturday morning I woke up at 5am to start hydrating and fueling. We took off for the race a little before 6 and parked just about 20 minutes before the gun. Parking was a breeze and there were plenty of bathrooms so the line was not an issue. We enjoyed the sunset, ocean views, fresh air and a non-crowded start line. The weather was perfect for running. A tad bit cloudy and under 60 degrees. They had pacers but not knowing what to expect due to some recent health issues, I was just going to run for fun. Just like Go Girl, I raced with my Garmin 235.
Miles 1-3: The first few miles I can usually decipher my mood. To my surprise, the first three were easy and I had no pain or feeling of fatigue. The course was relatively flat and on the beach pathway during the first few miles. I was able to crank out some low 8 minute splits. Because this was a relatively small race, there were not a lot of people I had to weave in and out of at the start. Running felt fun + enjoyable and I could tell my body was going to let me push myself.
Miles 3-5: Continuing on the Ventura Promenade for miles 3 and 4 the race was pretty flat and open. I got to enjoy a slight breeze from the beach and watch surfers catch some waves until we turned the corner to go through town and cross Main Street. Again, I felt really strong at this point. I wouldn’t say confident because I was worried my body would fizzle toward the end of the race but I was super stoked that I was keeping the pace and charging forward. I was starting to zone out and the miles were coming and going quick. At that point, I decided this was no longer a fun run and I wanted to go for it!
Miles 5-7: We hopped over to the Ventura River Trail and ran through some industrial areas. At this point we hit some elevation and had a steady incline in to the wind for the next several miles. Some areas were super windy and we crossed over some train tracks.
Miles 7-9: During mile 7, I remember feeling good but was also wondering how much longer I could run on incline and in to the wind. I was really needing a break (I started to feel it in my quads) and was hoping that once we turned around, I’d get to head back down with the wind behind me to give me some quick splits to gain some momentum. Around mile 8 we turned around (YAS!) and my wish came true. The wind was behind me and I punched in a 7:30ish mile, which assured me that I had some gas left in the tank to cruise to the finish.
Miles 9-11: Headed back down the trail, these miles went quick. For almost the entire back end of the race, I was following the same guy. I think I was pushing him and he was pushing me – I love when that happens.
Miles 11-13.1: Here the downhill slant ended and we headed back to town on Harbor Blvd. I was able to keep under an 8 minute pace until mile 12. I actually missed a turn and had to back track (dang!) to get back on the path headed for the home stretch. I think this cost me at least 30 seconds if not more. I’ve never done that before but once we got to town, there were people on the Promenade so things got chaotic. I had to dodge bikes, walkers, dogs, surfers, etc.
Overall, I was really stoked about my time and the race. (I ended up getting 3rd in my age group.) I might have even had a PR if I had not missed my turn. I’m not sure if it was all the acupuncture I’ve been doing recently or just the relaxing vibes but my body felt balk to normal. My friends did really well too! After the race, we enjoyed the post-race perks + scenery and lounged on the sand. We stopped at In-N-Out Burger on the way home for some much deserved grub. #ProteinStyleAnimalStyle
The rest of the day was spent by the pool – oh so relaxing!