Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Operation Jack

It has been a crazy several days and I'm just plain worn out -- exhausted.  But here I sit at work attempting to get a few things done (as well as get things like blog posts done!!).  More on Christmas stuff later -- but I did want to check in with how the Operation Jack race went yesterday.

The short answer is that it went very well and I'm quite pleased with the results.  Ending time is 1.56.56 which is a 1 minute 38 second PR.

The best part though was that this was a really fun race (confirming yet again, how much I LOVE the small race).  Operation Jack was started by Sam Felsenfeld as a project to run at least a marathon a week in 2010 to raise funds and awareness of autism of which one of his son's suffers.  He needed one final marathon at the end of 2010 to meet his goal and created this one which was supposed to be a one time event.  But apparently the even was so popular, he put it on again and it also attracted satellite races in a few cities and Afghanistan.

Sam and his volunteer crew put on a wonderful race.  It was super well organized and everyone was so friendly and it was just a pleasure to be out there.  There was always a kind word at every water stop and even the runners were the nicest I've been around.  I passed a few people towards the end and each time I got a 'good job'!  I chatted with several people who were just lovely and one guy even waved as he headed back out for the marathon as I was headed in to finish the half.  It was so nice.

Back to the beginning.  Right before we started Sam and his wife reminded us all why we were there and we were told to walk/jog/run our asses off for the cause.   A few more thoughts and we were off.  The race was from the north part of Manhattan Beach to Marina Del Rey and then back. The marathoners then got to repeat the route.  Other than being incredibly beautiful, it was fairly uneventful.  Just nice and pleasant.    I took his picture on Saturday when I did a run at the same beach:

Yeah, it was that beautiful.  (as a side note, if I didn't hate LA so much and if I could only stay at the beach, I'd live in Manhattan Beach or one of the nearby cities -- every time I'm there I want to move -- unfortunately I'd have to leave it to go to a job and then LA becomes awful again).

Anyway, so the run just sort of happened -- my goal was to stay at around a 9 min/mile pace for the first three miles and then bring it down from there and basically that is what I did (other than mile 12 -- not sure what happened there but I do remember at one point looking down at my watch  and asking myself if I thought the run was over because clearly I wan't at the finish and I was able to pick up my pace.  So I think I was just so relaxed I lost track of fact that I should be running fast for me.)  But overall, these splits cause me joy:


And honestly, I think I was being a bit cautious throughout the end of the race. I remember thinking during mile 10 that I really should pick up the pace as I still could have carried on a conversation -- wouldn't have been easy but I probably wasn't working as hard as I could have -- but I was still scared from Disneyland and SJRNR where I felt so miserable during the last miles in those races so I just played it safe.

So all in all, a fantastic morning -- a great experience on all accounts from a terrific race to a performance I'm pleased with.  If I'm in LA next Christmas I'll do this one again -- and I'd highly recommend it to anyone nearby (Caroline - I'm talking to you ;) )


XLMIC said...

Nice job while running for a good cause! Looking forward to running with you again soon :)

Terzah said...

Fantastic PR--great job! I love those splits in the final miles. Perfect way to end your year.

Kathy said...

Awesome time and negative splits!!! I just love running along the beach, such a treat when I'm out in CA with family. Great job!!!

Nelly said...

Sounds like a great race! I've heard about operation Jack, it does seem like a great cause.

Congrats on the PR!

I know you may be regretting not hammering the last 2-3 miles, but there will always be next time to put the pedal to the metal and give all you got. Sounds like you ran a very smart race.

Caroline said...

YOU just made me laugh!!!!

OK I am there!!!

congrats on your PR!
I was sick yesterday but other than that I regret not doing it!

You convinced me!

Anne said...

That sounds like a wonderful way to spend the holiday weekend. And, yeah, LA is a tough town unless you're lucky enough to live by the sea.