Hilly Holiday Half Marathon

I started my race day like usual – PB&J on toast a cinnamon roll. I wish I had a Cinnabon. Actually, I bet if I had a Cinnabon I would have PR-ed. I’d like to test that theory…IMG_3310 (600x800)

Since I’m trying to do this new thing where I’m social with other people besides my dog I invited myself to drive to the race with Margot and Sarah. Margot drove, Sarah provided the dope tunes, I told jokes that would make a sailor blush took blurry pictures. IMG_3312 (800x600)

Last night I checked the course map for the Ho-Ho-Holiday Half Marathon. I found something that said it was hilly. But, Sarah insisted it was not and I wanted to believe her, so I did. Turns out – she’s a liar. IMG_3318 (800x600)

Or in denial. Either way it wasn’t good.

The race was held at the Fairplex in Pomona. I thought the fair was still going on and was hoping to end the day with a stick of fried butter (<- yes I’ve eaten one).pomona fair

Sarah put on her serious running face to warm up.IMG_3319 (600x800)

While I bought the new Peanut Butter Gu!!!! Yes, it’s good! peanut butter gu

We got our bibs/loot and put our stuff back in the car. I switched out my sweatshirt for a trash bag all classy like. I need a bigger bag next time though! Damn vanity sizing…wearing a bag

Pre-race we’re all smiles because we’ve let ourselves believe Sarah’s lie that this will be a flat race.pre race

I’d call this race hilly, but I prefer down hill races (or sitting on the couch) so I’m a bad judge. But, I pulled it together and finished strong!IMG_3327 (800x600)

My goal was to maintain even splits, but it wasn’t super easy to do on this course (plus I started out too fast again). But here they are for my own reference:

13.11 – 1:48:09 – Average pace 8:15

  • Mile 1: 8:14
  • Mile 2: 8:18
  • Mile 3: 8:04
  • Mile 4:8:08
  • Mile 5: 8:16
  • Mile 6: 8:22
  • Mile 7: 8:21
  • Mile 8: 8:22
  • Mile 9: 8:21
  • Mile 10: 8:21
  • Mile 11: 8:35
  • Mile 12: 8:16
  • Mile 13: 7:42 (!)

*I am proud of myself for staying more consistent than normal. My LB times went from 8:09 to 10:19 minute miles!! So, this is progress.

This isn’t a PR, but I learned a few things in this race and that was my goal Smile I’m still not good at pacing, but the more I run the more I realize the important of pacing, fueling and not going out too fast.

Post race: We’re smiling because I finally took off my Santa hat and plastic bag and look like a normal member of society. Kinda.IMG_3330 (800x600)


I got the Feta and Egg White wrap and it was good and salty just like I like it.feta and egg white wrap

One the way home I stopped to meet up with Ben and some friends who were having lunch. And had a little snack post shower. cereal with a capital c

Now I have a few errands to run and boot camp to get ready for (!!!). See ya later Smile


  1. says

    Nice work, Monica! Sounds like you’re really trying to learn from your races and improve (which is awesome, because I kind of just run…sometimes I wish I was more mindful!). Looked fun too – way to rock it!

  2. says

    That’s speedy! Especially with those dingdang hills! Maybe hills work for you (speedy Laguna Hills), even though you don’t really like hilly courses.

  3. Brittany says

    Congrats on such a great race! I am going to be running 2 Halfs in the course of a little over a month next year. I know you just ran the LV RnR…any tips on training between two close races?

    • says

      Two races within a week of each other is very hard to train for because you can’t predict how much rest you’ll need. But, I didn’t really train for either of these and just tried to take it easier this week.

  4. Ida says

    Congrats on a good race with a fast finish! Hills are tough, but I like how they keep my head in the race.
    PB gu sounds intriguing, I always go triberry. I need to branch out!

  5. says

    Just clicked on the fried butter link – what the heck is that deep fried potato thing that claims to be Australian? I have never seen anything even remotely resembling that here! I think they were playing games with people!

  6. says

    Congratulations on your race! It seems like you have been doing quite a few of those lately. What’s next? I’m a big fan of the egg white feta wrap too – one of my Starbucks breakfast staples!

  7. Lorin says

    You run so fast! It shows how much work you have put into running; very inspiring. Personally, I’ve found I can’t run for long distances because I get burnt out physically and mentally (my knees sometimes hurt the day after a run if I ran for 45 minutes or more), but it’s awesome that you’ve been so successful with it.

  8. says

    Peanut butter gu?! I want to have one of those followed by a chocolate one or maybe all at once and cause certain GI distress but enjoy every delicious second of it…

    Great run, btw!

  9. says

    I ran a 1/2 yesterday too! The Tucson 1/2 was fun, and mostly downhill- but there were no many people wearing santa hats! I know what yo umean about relaly thinking about signing up for races before you jump in. I signed up for this one in June, and it was actually a crazy time of year to take off from work and travel…

  10. says

    Great work!!! I know it’s not a PR, but damn girl, way to finish strong! I always start out too fast, so I feel your pain. I’m trying to get better about that (and am thinking my new Garmin 405CX will help). Oh, and feta/eggwhites? Amazeballs.

  11. says

    A holiday half sounds awesome! I tried to wear light up antlers for my 5K, but I just couldn’t do it – I could feel the wind hitting them.
    Your pacing looks a ton better than mine, even on a 5K I’m all over the place. Are there people that can really run their miles less than 15s apart? I’d LOVE tips on how to do that. On my first half I got progressively slower and ended up averaging 15 seconds slower than my training runs :/ Running sure keeps ya thinking!

  12. Nancy Connell says

    Congrats!! (Even though you mentioned it wasn’t a PR, that’s a rockin time) I ran that race as well. Im convinced it should be called “The Hill Holiday Half”.

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