Malibu Half Marathon
During the first week of the school year, I decided to join a few of my classmates and sign up for the Malibu Half Marathon. I thought it would be a great motivator to keep me active while getting through a tough semester. To train, I followed one of the Hal Higdon Half Marathon plans which I have followed before with success. I stuck to the plan for the most part having to rearrange my long runs a few times due to sheer laziness or to spend more time studying for an upcoming exam. The main thing that made this training season less than the ideal was the never-ending heat wave the Inland Empire was experiencing. Since I am not a morning person in the slightest I had to work very hard to get some of the runs done first thing in the morning before the sun came up and scorched the earth. Sometimes I wasn't so determined and had to run in 80 up to 90-degree weather. Even though the training season did not go well at all, I still wanted to go forth with the race.
Two nights before the race I was out partying in Arizona for my birthday which you can read a bit about here, so needless to say my body was still in recovery mode when I woke up at 4am race morning before driving out to Malibu. It was a smooth, trafficless drive through intermittent drizzle which made me hopeful for perfect race temperatures. We did hit some traffic trying to park at Zuma Beach which took us at least 30 minutes to get through. By the time we parked I only had about 30 minutes before the start of the race. I was a little panicked because I still had to pick up my race bib. I had paid for the mail option for my race bib, but forever reason never received it. All in a flurry I went to the restroom, picked up my replacement bib, bid adieu to my boyfriend, and joined an extremely packed corral. I was getting to the corral a bit late, so it was nearly impossible to get through the hoards of people packed into such a tiny space. The race had a staggered start based on expected finish time, and since I couldn't get up past the 2:30 finishers I ended up being either the second or third group to start which put me crossing the start line around 712am instead of the 700am race start time.
Finally, I was off and spent the first few miles weaving in and out of people which was to be expected. The race had some decent sized rolling hills that I was not expecting at all. In my mind I expected the race to be right on the beach but instead, we were up on the hilly cliffs. The course had a pretty simple out and back route which is cool because you get a glimpse of the super fast runners ahead of you and feel a bit more reassured about your decision to wake up at the crack of dawn to run endless miles . It was also nice being able to look out at the ocean in its serene morning glory while also ogling at the multi-million dollar homes along the route. The first half of the race felt pretty good to me despite the hills, and I was definitely on PR pace even though I wasn't looking too closely at my time. The trouble really came during the second half when the sun was beating down on my face, my hat not serving up any protection whatsoever. I was also really regretting the long-sleeve, but with a forecasted rainy race along the beach, it seemed sensible earlier. Anyways, I started to get these strong heart palpitations which I would get a few times during my long runs while training as well. So I backed off on a few of the last miles telling myself as long as I kept moving forward I would be proud of myself. Around mile 11 I caught the gaze of my boyfriend who started cheering me on. Although the last couple of miles felt forever long I pushed myself through until the end.
Once I finished I felt extremely lightheaded and as soon as I met up with my boyfriend I had to sit down. Despite feeling absolutely terrible, I was elated that I finished my eighth half marathon! Before heading back to the IE my classmates, my boyfriend, and myself went to a lovely breakfast/brunch spot called Paradise Cove Beach Cafe. We sipped on mimosas, had a most delicious breakfast, and enjoyed some time on the beach. I also looked up my race time and saw I finished in 1:53 which I was very pleased with given how I was feeling the second half of the race. It may not have been my best race, but I am happy I did it and proud of accomplishing another great feat. I would definitely recommend the Malibu Half to anyone looking for a possible PR course with some gorgeous views!!